What is COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH?
Community-based research (CBR) is research where the activity, outcome, or product will have a direct impact on or benefit to the public. CBR is a team approach where community organizations and the university join forces to answer questions and provide solutions to the organization’s needs. Questions can be of any nature from marketing and accounting needs to social justice and everything in-between.
Community Service vs Service-Learning vs Community-Based Research
Community service, service-learning, and community-based research are a continuum of activities available for you to get involved with. Most students begin with and are most familiar with community service opportunities. Once they get involved in a service activity, some students find they want to learn more about a community issue or serve in a different capacity.
BENEFITS of service-learning and CBR: Students have the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to real world applications and community partners gain resources to assist in fulfilling an organizational need.
- Are you looking for an activity where your primary goal is to help someone? Then you may be interested in a community service activity. Find out more at USC’s Leadership and Service Center. You may be eligible to get money for your service project through the Dobson Volunteer Service Program.
- Are you interested in combining service activities and learning about relevant social issues in the classroom? You might be interested in service-learning. Find out more here, including how to get started, available courses, funding opportunities, and more.
- Do you have a project idea or want to explore a question that could help the community? Make an appointment with OUR to discuss your idea and get help finding a mentor for your project.
Remember: Your project may be eligible for many of the programs listed on the Money & Awards page including the Magellan programs. Contact OUR to discuss further.
What kind of projects are allowed (or what can I do)?
Community-based projects are as varied as the needs of the community partners we serve.
Projects could include:
- promotion or awareness campaign for agency or community issue of concern (suicide prevention, AIDS/HIV, etc)
- evaluation and recommendations based on historical trends or data (financial, service, renovation, etc)
- Surveys and focus groups to assess the needs of the agency or its clients
- Scientific testing or studies (evaluating water quality in local watersheds)
- Tutoring or mentoring of at-risk children
How do I get involved (for STUDENTS)?
If you are interested in research with the community, contact OUR for an appointment.
Want to serve but not sure what to do? Consider starting with a service-learning class or a community service project.
How do I get involved (for FACULTY)?
- If you have a project and are looking for a student or money to fund a student to work with you, please contact OUR at email@example.com or 803-777-1141.
- For service-learning, go to the Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement; firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-777-6336.
- For all other, please contact USC’s Leadership and Service Center.
How do I get involved (for COMMUNITY PARTNERS)?
Please contact USC’s Leadership and Service Center at 803-777-7130.