Supporting research collaborations between community organisations and university-based researchers.
The Melbourne Social Equity Institute’s Community Fellows Program aims to meet the research needs of community organisations to conduct small research-related projects in collaboration with university-based researchers.
About the Program
Through the Community Fellows Program, they aim to support research that will lead to positive outcomes such as improved service delivery, the development of new services, improved ability to advocate effectively or the improved capacity to undertake future research projects.
Community Fellows are able to spend time at the University of Melbourne to develop research skills. Projects should be relevant to the work of community-based organisations and aim to promote social equity. Projects could involve conducting a scoping report, literature review, data analysis or a small research project.
The initiative is targeted at small to medium-sized community-based organisations (up to 199 employees) that currently have very limited capacity to conduct research. Projects should be small, tightly focused and address an issue of relevance to the organisation. Key objectives for the Community Fellows Program are to meet community-based needs for research and to foster community–academic collaborations.
Each Community Fellow is assigned an Academic Mentor with relevant expertise. The Melbourne Social Equity Institute and Academic Mentor will work with the Fellow to design a feasible project. The Mentor and Fellow will meet regularly over the course of the project and additional support will be provided by the Institute to assist Fellows to conduct and write up their research.
During their placement, Fellows will have opportunities to participate in a range of academic and professional development activities. Community Fellows will be provided with hot-desking facilities, a temporary email address, access to Canvas (the University’s Learning Management System) and to library and internet facilities.
Grants of $7000 are made available to the community-based organisations to compensate them for the time that Fellows spend working on their research projects. A small research budget will be allocated to each Community Fellow to enable them to undertake their research. A Collaboration Agreement will be created specifying project details, levels of financial support and expected outcomes.
Community Fellows will be expected to actively participate in the research training provided which will include an orientation and an intensive 3-day orientation and training program in February 2023. Fellows are also expected to engage with other Fellows as part of a cohort experience and to participate in a mid-term work-in-progress workshops with the rest of the cohort.