Community Engaged Research Community of Practice

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute is inviting researchers from across the University of Melbourne, as well as from other institutions and the wider community, to join a Community of Practice focused on Community Engaged Research.

The Community of Practice will bring together people from a range of backgrounds to explore the ethics, methods and approaches to community engaged research.


The Melbourne Social Equity Institute, in collaboration with a number of University of Melbourne research networks, received a grant from Chancellery (Engagement) to establish a Community of Practice (CoP) to explore models for community-engaged research. A CoP is a term used to refer to a group that shares practices as well as a process of generating knowledge.

Community-engaged research encompasses a spectrum of varying levels of community participation in research. Different levels and types of participation are appropriate for different research projects ad contexts. This CoP is particularly interested in how to facilitate a high level of community decision-making about the purpose, design, conduct and use of research. The CoP will examine methods and approaches that provide people with an active and empowered role throughout the research process, and the social implications of this.

While a mature methodological approach exists in the United States and the United Kingdom, in Australia, community-engaged research is an emerging field. There are similarities and differences across disciplines as to how community-engaged research is articulated, defined and conceptualised, and this CoP will take an inclusive approach, exploring members’ diverse perspectives on and experiences of community-engaged research.

To register your interest in joining the Community of Practice, please complete this online form.

For further information please contact

Structure and Aims

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute will facilitate the CoP, drawing on the expertise of the individuals and groups involved, in order to draw out commonalities and differences in approach. The CoP will be open to all University researchers, professional staff and interested community members. It will meet over the course of a year to explore the ethics, methods and approaches to research with organisations, groups and individuals, including people with disabilities, children, older people, Indigenous communities, female victims/survivors of violence, and people seeking refuge and asylum.

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute will draw together the learnings from the CoP and will host a symposium to showcase successful models for community-engaged research and to disseminate this work more broadly.

The aims of this project are:

  • To create a space for peer learning and reflection;
  • To enhance the ability of academics and professional staff to engage with community-based organisations and individuals with lived experience;
  • To strengthen the University’s partnerships with a diverse range of community organisations;
  • To work with Chancellery (Engagement) to collaborate in developing an informed university-wide approach to community-engaged research; and,
  • To lay the groundwork to establish the University of Melbourne as an academic leader this field.

Schedule of Activities

Thursday 27 July 2017
Led by

Hallmark Disability Research Initiative

2.30pm – 4.30pm
Room 609, Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street, Carlton

August 2017
Led by

Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence Against Women and their Children (MAEVe)

This event has been postponed

September 2017
Led by

Hallmark Indigenous Research Initiative (TBC)

October 2017
Led by

Hallmark Ageing Research Initiative

November/December 2017
Led by

Hallmark Children’s Lives Research Initiative

February 2018
Led by

Researchers for Asylum Seekers Network

March 2018