Community-Based Research Grant
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Community-Based Research Grant (March, 2007)
University of Vermont and Local Community
Benefit from Learn & Serve America Grant
The University of Vermont Office of Community-University Partnerships and Service-Learning (CUPS), in collaboration with the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Public Administration, has been awarded a Learn & Serve America innovation grant to pursue community-based research in collaboration with three community partners. Of nearly 100 proposals, The University of Vermont's project was one of just 10 selected for its innovation and potential contributions to the field of community-based research (CBR), which engages faculty, students, and community stakeholders in research projects that aim to affect social change.
The CUPS Office will use grant funds to build upon this strong foundation, launching the development of a new academic course in Community-Based Participatory Research. This course, co-developed and instructed by Professor Hendrika Maltby in Nursing and Health Sciences, will examine the process of conducting Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) with the community as full partner. Students from a variety of disciplines will explore the philosophical dimensions and issues related to CBPR and apply this knowledge through partnerships with identified community groups. By the end of this course, interdisciplinary groups of students, teaming with their community partners, will have developed CBPR proposals that will be carried out in the following semester through student theses and projects.
The goal of CBPR is to work side-by-side with community agencies throughout the research process, engaging them as full participants in order to ensure that the project meets their identified goals. Community agencies that have agreed to collaborate in this initiative include: The Burlington Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO); the Lamoille County People in Partnership (PIP); and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF).
"The community is not just a place to do research," says coordinating faculty member, Hendrika Maltby, "it should be a place to collaborate in research endeavors. Those who are most effected by the research should be actively involved."
In being awarded the innovation grant, The University of Vermont joins the National CBR Networking Initiative, a larger network of community-based research practitioners funded by Learn & Serve America and spearheaded by Princeton University and the Bonner Foundation. This Initiative is coordinated by Princeton University's Community-Based Learning Initiative and will generate a range of best-practice tools and resources, including websites, manuals, and data valuable to students, faculty, and the community. As one of 30 other institutions expanding its CBR efforts through the Learn & Serve America grant, UVM has the opportunity to grow and strengthen The Office of Community-University Partnerships and Service-Learning through funding, as well share its work with other CBR practitioners nationwide.
FLYER FOR CBPR COURSE
MORE INFORMATION ON COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH
MORE INFORMATION ON THE NATIONAL CBR NETWORKING INITIATIVE
Burlington Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO): The Community and Economic Development Office is a department of the City of Burlington. The staff at this office works with the community to foster economic vitality; preserve and enhance neighborhoods, quality of life and the environment; and promote equity and opportunity for all residents of Burlington. CEDO has three divisions: Housing, Economic Development, and the Center for Community & Neighborhoods. In addition, CEDO has administrative and special projects staff. CEDO’s Development staff work closely with other divisions on a variety of development activities throughout the City but principally focuses in downtown, the waterfront and in the Enterprise Zone in the South End of Burlington. CEDO uses a variety of tools in supporting development. The Center for Community and Neighborhoods (C-CAN) will be the primary partner for this grant. The center is home to a broad spectrum of programs that improve our city through community participation and citizen action. CCAN works to engage residents in partnership with the public and private sector. We work together to shape municipal plans, allocate resources, respond to crime, resolve conflict, and improve neighborhoods. Each year over 4,000 citizens are involved in innovative activities from study circles on racism to neighborhood planning and problem solving, from graffiti removal to restorative justice panels, and in a variety of community improvement projects.
People in Partnerships, Lamoille County, VT: Vermont has been pioneering a community partnership model since 1992 with a statewide system of 12 Regional Partnerships to improve health indicators, social well being and quality of life at the community level (Vermont Agency for Human Services (VAHS), 1999). These collaborative groups make decisions for the development and implementation of local strategies to achieve well-being outcomes developed in coordination with the State Team for Children, Families, and Individuals (VAHS, 1999; 2001). The People in Partnership (PIP) group in Lamoille Valley (Lamoille County and Southwest Orleans County) includes community members, and a variety of agencies and organizations including the health department, home health, parent child center, women’s shelter, the hospital, school districts, social services, substance abuse prevention, and higher education partners. These partners meet monthly to share information, and to coordinate and improve supports, services, and resources to reflect the needs of their community. VAHS publishes annual Community Profiles that outline over 60 health indicators across ten outcomes of well being for a wide range of populations at the community level. PIP’s diverse membership uses the Profiles to monitor community conditions, formulate strategies to improve troublesome indicators, and evaluate changes, which gives them a good grasp of the health issues facing the community.
The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF) is a Montpelier (VT) based organization with a mission to `energize and nurture long-term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe and environmentally sustainable communities.' In order to fulfill this mission, NEGEF provides small grants, up to $2,500 in size, to grassroots community groups throughout New England that fall below the radar of traditional funders. NEGEF has funded over 1,200 community groups in ten years, distributing over $2 million. In addition to financial support, NEGEF offers coaching, networking and skills building opportunities to grassroots leaders and advocates for grassroots community action to assure the value of community-based work is present in larger strategies and campaigns. A recent partnership with the University of Vermont is bringing student technical assistance to NEGEF and their grantees through internships and service-learning projects.
Last modified March 20 2007 02:10 PM