74 Community Engagement and Collaboration | Brock University Lifespan Development Research Institute – Community Advisory Groups

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 person holding a stack of books

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.

You can learn more about Lifespan Institute online. If you have specific questions about this case study, the Lifespan Institute can be contacted at lifespan@brocku.ca

Thought questions:

  1. How could you work with a community advisory group within your KMb and research projects?
    1. How could this type of community engagement benefit your work?
    2. What challenges can you think of around working with a community advisory group?
  2. What capacity and resources would working with an advisory board require?
  3. How could you work to ensure that the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion are respected and incorporated in a community advisory group?

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