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McMaster is committed to advancing research and training that promotes a better and healthier world for all.

To achieve this goal, we recognize the importance of working across disciplines and faculties and in collaboration with communities. In the Faculty of Social Sciences, researchers are working with diverse community partners (locally, regionally and internationally) to collaboratively address societal issues and to advance the public good. A 2019 survey revealed that 25% of Social Sciences faculty were involved in community engaged research in the previous year.

Together they participated in more than 60 projects in collaboration with over 130 community partners. To learn more about these research partnerships, visit the Mapping Community Engaged Research Partnerships website. 

In the Spring of 2021, the Community Research Platform became one of McMaster’s core research platforms.

We are a joint initiative between McMaster University, led by Faculty of Social Sciences, and four community organizations: (1) Hamilton Public Library (HPL); (2) Canadian Mental Health Association of Hamilton (CMHA); (3) Center [3] for Artistic and Social Practice (C3); (4) YWCA Hamilton (YWCA).

The Community Research Platform (CRP) is a unique ‘platform’ model of community-university research partnership as it aims to develop and foster long term, sustainable, ‘programs of research’ that extend far beyond individual research projects. 

Stakeholders share research infrastructure in the form of space, software, data, equipment, and expertise. Four key thematic areas have emerged that align with the expertise and interests of McMaster researchers and the mandates of community partner organizations.

They are: Mental Health (CMHA), Arts-informed Research (C3), Social Engagement and Community Resilience (HPL) and Gender and Intersectionality (YWCA). For each thematic area, the CRP has formed working groups comprised of interdisciplinary researchers and community experts.

Groups work to advance research that informs organizational practice and contributes to social impact (i.e., shedding light on social issues, supporting innovation, and providing guidance for policy). All CRP partners are well networked locally, regionally, and/or nationally, increasing the scalability and impact of research projects and knowledge mobilization activities.

Community Engaged Research focuses on the creation of knowledge that has positive and tangible impact in our communities.

Researchers and community groups combine their expertise and resources to shed light on social issues, improve the wellbeing and resilience of community members, support innovation and provide policy guidance.

We identify knowledge gaps, create research in that area and then share it with community stakeholders to ensure our collective efforts achieve the greatest impact.

By engaging communities early and inviting them to assist in shaping the research process researchers can bolster the useability and relevance of their scholarship.

Community groups may be public, private, and non-profit sector organizations, as well as groups that share common histories, interests, values, or challenges.

The CRP is co-led by an Academic Director and a Manager and is governed by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from McMaster and community partners.

Steering Committee

James Gillett

Associate Dean of Research and Grad Studies
Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Faculty of Social Sciences
gillett@mcmaster.ca 

Leora Sas van der Linden
Manager, Community Research Platform
Faculty of Social Sciences
sasvandl@mcmaster.ca

Sue Phipps
CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association, Hamilton Branch (CMHA)

Lisa Weaver
Director, Collections and Program Development, Hamilton Public Library (HPL)

Violetta Nikolskaya
Senior Analyst, Programs and Advocy, YWCA of Hamilton

Colina Maxwell
Executive Director, Centre 3 for Artistic and Social Practice

Working Group Members

Mental Health:  

Marissa Young, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Ameil Joseph, Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Diana Singh, Post-doctoral Fellow, Sociology
James Gillett, Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Leora Sas van der Linden, Manager Community Research Platform
Sue Phipps, CEO, CMHA Hamilton

Arts-informed Research:

Tara La Rose, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Carmela Alfaro-Laganse, Associate Professor, School of Arts
James Gillett, Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Colina Maxwell, ED, Centre 3 for Artistic and Social Practice
Leora Sas van der Linden, Manager Community Research Platform

Social Engagement and Community Resilience:

Nicole Dalmer, Assistant Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Meridith Griffin, Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Brian Detlor, Professor, DeGroote School of Business
Kaitlin Wynia, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Health, Aging and Society
James Gillett, Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Leora Sas van der Linden, Manager Community Research Platform
Lisa Weaver, Director, Collections and Program Development, Hamilton Public Library
Paul Takala, Chief Librarian/CEO, Hamilton Public Library

Gender and Intersectionality

Tina Moffatt, Associate Professor, Anthropology
Karen Bird, Professor, Political Science
Lydia Kapiriri, Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Jennie Vengris, Assistant Professor, Social Work
Mary Vaccaro, Phd. Candidate, School of Social Work
James Gillett, Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Meridith Griffin, Associate Professor, Health, Aging and Society
Aly Bailey, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Health, Aging and Society
Leora Sas van der Linden, Manager Community Research Platform
Violetta Nikolskaya, Senior Analyst Programs and Advocacy, YWCA
Medora Uppal, Director of Operations, YWCA

 

To participate in a working group please contact: 

Leora Sas van der Linden
Manager, Community Research Platform
sasvandl@mcmaster.ca