Community decision-making about the purpose, design, conduct and use of research.
Through all of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute's research programs there is a commitment to community-led and community-engaged research. The key feature of community engaged research is a high level of community decision-making about the purpose, design, conduct and use of research. It moves beyond seeing members of communities as research ‘subjects’ to enabling them to drive the research agendas that concern them.
The Melbourne Social Equity Institute has created a Community Fellows Program which brings members of community organisations into the University to develop research skills while assisting scholars to understand the context in which their research may be used. In addition, wherever possible, those with lived experience of the research issue being addressed will advise and co-design institute-supported interdisciplinary research projects.
In 2017 the Institute launched a Community of Practice focused on community engaged research, bringing together people from a range of backgrounds to explore the ethics, methods and approaches.
The Community Engage Research program is led by Dr Cathy Vaughan.