Community Based Research Initiative

The Community-Based Research Initiative (CBRI) is a collaboration between the Office of Undergraduate Research and individual GVSU faculty. As stated in Community-Based Research and Higher Education, community-based research (CBR) is a partnership of students, faculty, and community members who collaboratively engage in research with the purpose of solving a pressing community problem or effecting social change, but we find that definition to be rather limiting, so we like to define it as an opportunity to explore an area of mutual interest with others (Strand, et al, 2003, p.3).

Another definition that can be found is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change... ~ Community Health Scholars Program

Established in 2010, the CBRI provides funding and administrative support for community based research initiatives over a 2 year period. The intent of the initiative is to provide support for faculty members engaged in meaningful research and scholarship with students and community members. CBRI projects support the Principles of Community-Based Research (Strand, et al, 2003):

1) CBR is a collaborative enterprise between academic researchers (professors and students) and community members (For more info: p8-11)

2) CBR validates multiple sources of knowledge and promotes the use of multiple methods of discovery and dissemination of the knowledge produced. (p.11-13)

3) CBR has as its goal, social action and social change for the purpose of achieving social justice (p.13-15)

Examples of GVSU CBRI Projects

  • Act on Racism, Project Faculty Director, Dr. Jennifer Stewart, 2011-2013
  • Speaking Out, Project Faculty Director, Dr. Melanie Shell-Weiss, 2011
  • Young Lords Project of Lincoln Park, Project Faculty Director, Dr. Melanie Shell-Weiss, 2012

Other offices and programs supporting community based research at GVSU include: the Community Service Learning Center, the Office for Community EngagementPew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence.