Our Programs

Community-Engaged Research

The Community-Engaged Teaching and Research Team supports faculty who research issues related to service and community engagement, or who pursue research questions identified by community members or organizations. The goal of this research, which is often done in partnership with community residents or organizations, is to build and disseminate knowledge that advances scholarship and strengthens communities.

Our team also supports faculty who integrate a community engagement component into their courses, otherwise known as service-learning.

Program Details


We view ourselves as connectors between Northeastern faculty and community partners interested in community-engaged research. Our team directly supports faculty who have the following interests:

  • the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) related to service-learning and community engagement, and
  • partnering with the community on collaborative research projects

Here are some examples of recent or ongoing research initiatives:

  • Northeastern’s Director of Community-Engaged Teaching and Research, Becca Berkey, is collaborating with colleagues at the University of North Florida to explore faculty motivations and barriers to community-engaged teaching.
  • Associate Professor of Communications Studies Elise Dallimore has had a multi-year research collaboration with the National Council for Adoption. Read more here.
  • Biology Teaching Professor Gail Begley, Director of Community-Engaged Teaching and Research Becca Berkey, Assistant Director of Service-Learning Lisa Roe, and Director of Project and Team Strategy Hilary Schuldt were recently published in the International Journal for Students as Partners for their research on the impacts of Northeastern’s service-learning teaching assistant program on faculty.
  • Lori Gardinier, Director of Northeastern’s Human Services Program, recently published her newest book Service-Learning Through Community Engagement: What Community Partners and Members Gain, Lose, and Learn from Campus Collaborations (2016).

View an archive list of community-engaged research initiatives and projects conducted by Northeastern faculty, staff, students, and community partners here.


Our team can offer advice and ideas about the following topics to faculty who want to conduct a collaborative research project:

  • Ethical community engagement
  • Literature related to service-learning and community engagement
  • Making connections with community-based organizations

We often receive requests from faculty members looking to include community members as research participants in their ongoing studies. We support a collaborative approach that includes community members as part of the research design and decision-making processes.

Community Partners

Our team is excited to hear from community organizations that are interested in collaborating with faculty members on research projects. Email us at service-learning@northeastern and we will do our best to connect you with a faculty member, campus partner, or other resource.

Other Resources

The following websites and journals can serve as resources about research into service and community engagement:

Publicly Engaged Scholar-in-Residence

In 2019, the Community-Engaged Teaching and Research team and the Service-Learning Advisory Board introduced Northeastern’s first Publicly Engaged Scholar-in-Residence event to lead discussions about how Northeastern stakeholders can work with one another and other communities “to design strategic initiatives that build sustainable human communities through diverse networks, lifelong learners, and agile research.”

Our Inaugural Scholar-in-Residence was Timothy Eatman, an educational sociologist, the inaugural Dean of the Honors Living Learning Community, and an associate professor in the department of Urban Education at Rutgers University. For over a decade, Eatman has served as the director of research and faculty co-director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life program. He is a widely sought-after speaker, workshop facilitator, and collaborator who has earned local, national, and international recognition for his leadership in advancing understanding of the multi-faceted impact of publicly engaged scholarship.

On January 31 and February 1, 2019, Eatman led eight sessions about insights and patterns in community-engaged work done by universities, and about topics that were proposed and co-hosted by our program partners from on- and off-campus. His keynote speech, “Beware of Shrinking Imagination,” encouraged attendees to think critically about the role of higher education institutions in community organizing and movement building.

Roles and Positions

The Community-Engaged Teaching and Research team is currently exploring an opportunity to create a Community-Engaged Research Assistant program for students to support faculty and community partners with their projects and initiatives. In the meantime, we encourage students and faculty to explore these research and leadership opportunities available through some of our campus partners:

Support or Partner with Us

Campus Partners

We collaborate with many campus partners on community-engaged research initiatives and projects. Learn more about our campus partners, projects, and programs on our Faculty Resource page. If you have questions or ideas, please contact service-learning@northeastern.edu to learn more.

Community Organizations

If you’re a community organization interested in partnering with a Northeastern faculty member on a research question, email us at service-learning@northeastern.edu to set up a conversation with a member of our team. We will do our best to connect you with a faculty member, campus partner, or other resources.

Contact Us

Contact us at service-learning@northeastern.edu.

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