Community-based research (CBR) is  “a form of investigation in which the question to be studied arises from the needs of a group of individuals, such as undocumented workers or people who are homeless; from a concern of a nonprofit organization; or from the interwoven social challenges a geographic or other type of community faces (Beckman & Long, 2016, p. 1).”  The Center for Civic Engagement at Davidson, students and faculty engage in place-based community research in partnership with the community.

Community Research Fellows Program

The Center for Civic Engagement at Davidson has played a central role in community needs assessments and facilitated community-based research projects through academic courses in partnership with faculty. In the summer of 2020, the Center for Civic Engagement and faculty in the Data CATS program collaborated to launch the community research fellows program that engages students and faculty in place-based community research in partnership with the community and citizen leaders.

Summer 2023

A team of 4 students worked with the faculty team of Profs. Laurie Heyer, Stacey Riemer and Brittany Murray and the Center for Racial Equity in Education (CREED) on several intersecting research projects related to North Carolina School Boards.

Summer 2022

Fellows finalized the report from the summer of 2021, developed a Community Research data dashboard, and developed several “research in brief” documents that summarize findings from prior summers using data visualizations.

Summer 2021

Fellows engaged in multi-method, place-based community research in the key focus areas identified in the 2020 North Mecklenburg Needs Assessment: housing, healthcare, and early childhood care and education. Using a data equity framework, the team analyzed existing foundational literature and data sources, held focus groups and developed a survey that was administered to focus neighborhoods in North Mecklenburg county.   

Summer 2020

Fellows completed a broad needs assessment. The team developed the 2020 North Mecklenburg Needs Assessment Summary Report, a webpage featuring data about our community, and the Community Research Library Guide that indexes research and data on social issues in the greater Charlotte Mecklenburg area.