Social Research

We’re generating research that can change the world.

Community-based or community-engaged research differs from traditional academic research in its approach to social inquiry and in its emphasis on social change. The key is mutual input and benefit—for the university and the community. This collaboration may exist on a continuum, with the degree of community and university involvement varying depending on the purpose of the research and the needs of the research partners.

Our research approach takes the diversity of communities into account, specifically factoring in different viewpoints throughout all stages of investigation. Our expert analysis involves choosing from a rich suite of conceptual paradigms and applying them based on research design and goals.

Focus and Timeline

With guidance from an advisory board representing community and university stakeholders, we typically adopt an area of focus for multi-year community-engaged research and evaluation projects. We’re currently concentrating on food, nutrition, and health. We also provide research and training consultative services, in different subject areas, to community members, organizations, and agencies.

Research Methods

We use a mix of methods and approaches in our community-based research and consulting assignments. These include:

Applied Research

  • Statistical analysis
  • Participatory action research
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Ethnography
  • Mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Policy analysis

Community Deliberation and Action Planning

  • Community forums and workshops
  • Community outreach
  • Facilitating relationship and collaboration building


  • Assessment of needs and capacities
  • Program evaluation
Ebola and Beyond: Are We Ready?
The Center for Health Innovation's lecture and panel discussion.
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Our faculty members are experts in the full spectrum of autistic diagnoses.
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