The community-engaged scholarship (CES) is an application of professional scholarly work. It brings mutual benefits due to partnerships between academic and external (non-academic) partners. In other words, the main goal of a CES is to encourage academic research and strengthen its quality. The mission is to connect interest groups who want to make progressive changes in society.
Surely, the strategy targets relevant communities and groups. In general, they include:
- Scholars who make research – staff of the universities and students
*License lookup scholarship mainly focuses on them. By the way, scholarship application guides are available on the website.
- Those who are affected by findings – society members served by a service sector, government departments, private businesses, non-governmental organizations, social enterprises, industry, etc.
Community-engaged scholars strive to build active partnerships between the community and the university. This collaboration aims to reach socially useful and mutually beneficial practices. The latter refers to research, creative work, teaching, learning, and engaged citizenship. Each of them contributes to generating new knowledge.
Engaged research is one of the disciplines of community-based participatory research (CBPR). It is a collective approach involving all partners and interested parties in the process.
Eventually, when does a community partner’s engagement start? In fact, it starts at the beginning of a research project. Above all, researchers suggest study plans and help to recruit members.
Of course, COVID-19 was a big challenge for CES as well. Firstly, the pandemic disturbed scholars to build communities. The reason is their inability to be physically present with those people
License lookup scholarship also had issues during this period. Indeed, COVID-19 had both positive and negative effects. So, let’s discuss those changes together.
Community-Engaged Scholarship Challenges During a Pandemic
All the spheres of our lives have been upturned because of the epidemic. The academic environment was not an exception, too. Surely, this situation influenced engaged scholarship as well.
Duties for researchers were many. Taking care of their communities became one of their greatest problems, as their own lives were at risk. Making thoughtful research was hard while their health was in question.
Ways of communication with the community also changed to the prohibition of in-person meetings. The spread of the corona caused a transition of learning to online platforms. So, instead of events, new forms of cooperation and working appeared, like:
- Conversations on phone
- Digitizing materials
- Work with new tools to store and share information
- Virtual activities and discussions
6 Tips on How to Face Pandemic Challenges to CES
Indeed, there is always a way out of every issue. In the case of global concerns, people join forces to find exits together. During the epidemic, scholars offered modern options to replace human contact with virtual. Here is some advice from advanced specialists on how to overcome engaged scholarship problems during the pandemic.
- Keep perspective to reduce constant urgency.
- Reconsider priorities according to the new reality. Give up actions that do not serve your goals anymore.
- Be open to new alterations and recent styles of teamwork.
- Consider the present as an important historical moment.
- Always be ready for future crises.
- Create an e-community.
Actions in Response to Corona
In this part, we have highlighted some specific issues. Also, we offered some methods on how to solve them easily.
- Limited opportunity to meet participants of the project
*Use email and Zoom to be in touch with them.
- Slow and hard recruitment
*Use suitable social media platforms and attend conferences to find the needed team.
- Uncertainty about what to do after COVID-19
*Share necessary information about study findings about corona.
- High rate of registration but low attendance
*Use live streams on IG and YouTube to broadcast information about your undertaking.
- Maintain anonymity of members if needed
*Do camera-off calls and open anonymous chat boxes directed to the host. Also, advise putting pseudonyms on profiles.
CES is a great way to gather people sharing the same ideas. Their goal is to serve the public good. Spheres of activities are various and countless. For example, water quality, recycling of garbage, cure of worldwide diseases, etc. Looking at the list, we might think about how many concerns humankind has. However, 2 years ago, we could not even imagine that one day there will be another threat to the planet.
With the onset of the corona, we faced the greatest danger to our lives. Lockdown and increase of death cases fully changed our priorities. Academic and scientific research directed toward the finding of vaccines. Surely, CES, being an inseparable part of these processes, had to pass through difficulties.
How to build cooperation between partners in such conditions? How to engage them realizing that each of them is in panic. Many questions were requiring answers. The solution is one: be flexible in any case. We hope that the above-listed tips will help you get out of the state forced by COVID-19.