Brock University, located in the Niagara Region, houses several research institutes, one being the Lifespan Development Research Institute (Lifespan Institute) – www.brocku.ca/lifespan. The Lifespan Institute is a multidisciplinary collaboration of over 80 researchers and numerous external organizations dedicated to studying human development across the lifespan and its associated KMb. The Lifespan Institute includes a diverse group of researchers with interests in:
- Understanding human development across the lifespan, and the factors that influence stability or change
- Understanding factors that impact on mental and physical health, brain function, learning, behaviour, etc.
A key part of the mandate of the Lifespan Institute is to build capacity for lifespan research and its associated KMb through:
- Promoting interdisciplinary research collaborations, with initiatives that work to build bridges across and within areas of interest,
- Creating opportunities for members to host workshops/mini-conferences, etc.,
- Promoting the integration of the community within our research and KMb activities, and
- Providing opportunities for KMb through training, community engagement, partnerships, and grant support.
Some of the Lifespan Institute’s KMb activities that relate to the above mandate include:
- Capacity building for members and their students around KMb (e.g. free-of-charge KMb workshop,
- International community speaker series focused on topics of relevance in lifespan development research,
- Grant support for members and their students around KMb,
- Supporting members’ KMb initiatives,
- Social media work, and
- Community engagement in the form of several advisory groups.
The below video will review the Lifespan Institute community engagement groups. Please take a moment to watch this video now and then review the thought questions included at the end of this case study.
- How could you work with a community advisory group within your KMb and research projects?
- How could this type of community engagement benefit your work?
- What challenges can you think of around working with a community advisory group?
- What capacity and resources would working with an advisory board require?
- How could you work to ensure that the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion are respected and incorporated in a community advisory group?