Community Engaged Research and Learning

Community Engaged Research and Learning (CERL)

Community Engaged Research and Learning (CERL) projects combine in one activity the three Higher Education missions of teaching, research and engagement. They also increase diversity and inclusion in the curriculum and the classroom by bringing in a range of community partners. By their nature these projects always address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which underpin the University's Strategic Intent. The Programme for Students Learning With Communities aims to support academic colleagues and community partners to increase the number, and quality, of community engagement projects in the University curriculum at all levels, in line with the University's Strategic Intent.

The programme for Students Learning With Communities provides a 1-to-1 tailored service for lecturers and community partners who would like to collaborate on projects with students. Tailored support helps lecturers to effectively integrate CERL into pre-existing modules or courses, few of which previously included it. For lecturers or teams developing new CERL modules, programme staff offer support with development of module descriptors, links to interested community partners, and attend QA validation events.

As well as 1-to-1 tailored supports, programme staff:

  • Develop and deliver capacity-building workshops, webinars and other professional development for those involved in CERL, both lecturers and community partners. (For example in 2020/1 a formal learning circle for lecturers was piloted, as part of TU Dublin’s involvement in the CIRCLET EU project. Through structured dialogue with local and/or international peers these lecturers have been supported to begin, or enhance, their CERL practice.)
  • Coordinate networking events for academic staff and community partners
  • Coordinate formal recognition for CERL, for students and community partners (annual awards events, and previously, biennial DIT President's Community Fellowship conferrings)
  • Share TU Dublin learning on CERL in a range of local and international networks and contexts
  • Collaborate with national and international partners on research and other projects to support and enhance CERL (e.g. coordinating the university’s involvement in three EU-funded projects: FP7 project PERARES (2010-14), Horizon 2020 project EnRRICH (2015-18) and Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership CIRCLET (2019-22).

Find out more about Community Engaged Research internationally and in Ireland.