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.


The final Community of Practice session on working with Indigenous peoples and communities will be incorporated into the Place and Partnerships Conference hosted by the Hallmark Indigenous Research Initiative on 5 and 6 April.

The entire conference is dedicated to showcasing ethical partnerships and engaged research, with the Community of Practice session scheduled to be the final session on the second day of the conference.

Update: Community of Practice attendees do not need to register for the Conference if they only wish to attend the Community of Practice workshop.

Indigenous Place & Partnerships Conference
Thursday 5 & Friday 6 April
Melbourne Brain Centre
30 Royal Parade, Parkville

The Community of Practice Workshop will take place at
3.30pm on Friday 6 April.

Learn more about the Conference

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.