Key Competencies for Engaged Research Core Credential

Key Competencies

We define “key competencies” in this area as the knowledge, skills, and critical commitments that must be mobilized by CEPs to engage in ethical and reciprocal research with communities.  

To earn this core credential, an individual effectively demonstrates their knowledge, experience, skills, and critical commitments in the following areas:

  1. Understanding of concepts and frameworks of community engagement and community-engaged research, including familiarity with the histories and basic literatures of community-based (participatory) research and community engaged scholarship (CES), more broadly
  2. Knowledge of and skills in applying the principles of community-based research in theory and practice, including guiding principles, theoretical frameworks, models and methods of planning, implementation, and evaluation
  3. Knowledge of the institutional review board (IRB) processes
  4. Ability to design and frame research in ways that acknowledge various contributors to community issues (social, economic, behavioral, political, environmental, historical relations, et al.) and the interplay between these factors 
  5. Knowledge of the history, strengths, and assets of the community as well as the agendas, desires, and goals of the community constituents with whom one partners
  6. Knowledge of self: Ability to acknowledge and articulate one’s positionality as an engaged researcher and how it shapes dynamics of collaboration in consequential ways. This includes attention to:
    1. The power relations and inequalities inherent in higher education-community partnerships
    2. The relative privilege of trained researchers in community contexts and how this may impact the project design and implementation process, including the ways in which similarities and differences in position, experience, formal schooling, status, institutional affiliation, or identity may shape dynamics of collaboration in consequential ways
  7. Ability to articulate a collaborative research design process that is grounded in qualities of reciprocity, mutual respect, shared authority, and co-creation. This includes:
    1. Ability to actively engage community partner-participants in all phases of the research design and decision-making (inclusive of  goal setting, development of methodology, data collection/project implementation, analysis, and dissemination); 
    2. Ability to involve partnership members in ongoing reflection on, and assessment of, the research process before, during, and after the partnership; 
    3. Strategies for monitoring and facilitating communication and shared work among differently-positioned partners to ensure the quality of relationships and validate the contributions and authority of each partner
    4. Ability to recognize, mediate, mitigate, or hold in creative tension conflicts as they arise and to develop strategies that reaffirm or model inclusive and collaborative participation
  8. Ability to design research through an asset-based lens, where the strengths, skills, and situated knowledges of those in the community are validated and legitimized, even as community challenges are acknowledged 
  9. Ability to demonstrate how the research (in terms of both process and products) contributes to the skill- and capacity-building of all research partners, including those in the community most affected by the problem
  10. Ability to work with community partners to develop strategies and practices of public dissemination that address multiple audiences through multiple products (E.g, policy papers, peer-reviewed publications, educational programs, community-led interventions, etc.), and include community partners as (co-)producers/presenters, whenever possible
  11. Ability to provide tangible goods to the community constituents with whom one partners in ways that suit their goals/desires and inform their ongoing work