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Corporation for National and Community Service: Community Conversations Research

Deadline: April 10, 2018

The Community Conversations Research program focuses on engaging communities in conversations about their civic health using participatory research approaches to facilitate civic engagement and strengthen community capacity to address local issues, both of which are central to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) mission. The program will support institutions of higher education that work with and in local communities to use a participatory research approach to:

  • Actively engage residents and other local stakeholders in a research process
  • Identify a local issue of concern to the community
  • Understand what may facilitate or hinder participation to address the issue
  • Create a collaborative action plan to increase civic engagement and build relationships to tackle the community-identified issue

Participatory research will be supported in three types of communities, with equal priority:

  • Communities that are already working collaboratively to tackle a locally identified issue. This includes groups of people such as residents, local stakeholders, organizations or other institutions that are already working collectively toward a common goal or issue.
  • Communities that have experienced a disaster. This includes communities that have experienced a natural or manmade disaster and are in a recovery phase.
  • Communities in social crisis. This includes communities that are experiencing a type of social crisis e.g., persistent poverty, rising unemployment, increasing opioid use.

Activities to be funded through this competition include:

  • Supporting academics, applied researchers, and other university staff such as graduate students, working with and in communities
  • Creating and establishing a research team, training a research team to engage in the research process, and project meetings
  • Using a participatory research approach to actively engage residents and other local stakeholders in a research process to identify a local issue and understand the factors that facilitate or hinder community participation in tackling the issue
  • Developing a community-driven action plan that includes and incorporates the perspective and feedback from local stakeholders to tackle a community issue
  • Making presentations or developing material to report results such as reports, or other publications such as journal articles and briefs, and creating other culturally appropriate material such as videos, podcasts, performances, etc.
  • Implementing an action plan to tackle a community identified issue and examining outcomes of the participatory research project in terms of project goals, skill-building, strengthening networks, community engagement, and other relevant outcomes
  • Building networks and relationships with organizations, institutions, and decision makers to strengthen civic infrastructure and tackle the community-identified issue

Although not required, applicants may consider incorporating national service into some aspect of the project design including, but not limited to: being part of the research team, serving as an audience to hear from the research team about the study findings, and participating as partners in an action plan to tackle a community issue.

Note: CNCS will not fund studies that are duplicative of current CNCS studies (www.nationalservice.gov/impact-our-nation/research-evaluation/research-competition ).

Amount: A total of $500,000 is available to make cooperative agreements ranging from $50,000-$100,000. The project period is for two years.

Eligibility: Institutions of higher education.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=301475

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