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Community Based Research

What is Community Based Research? Community based research (CBR) is an approach to research that enables community members to be active participants and collaborators in the research process. CBR is a way to empower community members in developing their own work through the participatory research process. The goal of CBR is to initiate positive social change through action and advocacy based on firm research evidence.

Community based research strives to be:

  • Community situated – it begins with a research topic of practical relevance to the community and is carried out in community settings.
  • Collaborative - community members and researchers share control of the research agenda through active and reciprocal involvement in the research design, implementation and dissemination.
  • Action-oriented - the process and results are useful to community members in making positive social change.

(Adapted from the Centre for Community Based Research)

Interested in CBR? If you are interested in engaging in Community Based Research, contact us at to discuss opportunities!


Maurrasse, David. (2001). Beyond the Campus: How Colleges and Universities Form Partnerships with their Communities. New York: Rutledge.

Kerry J. Strand., Cutforth, N., Stoecker, R., & Marullo, S. (2003). Community-Based Research and Higher Education: Principles and Practices. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Barbara A. Israel., Schulz, Amy J., Parker, Edith A., & Becker, Adam B., ( 1998). Review of Community Based Research: Assessing Partnership Approaches to Improve Public Health. Annual Review of Public Health, 19, 173-202.


Broadly defined, fieldwork is a descriptive term for the collection of data outside of a controlled laboratory setting. The practice and focus of fieldwork varies across disciplines but is mainly concentrated in the natural and social sciences such as biology, earth sciences, geology, anthropology and archaeology.

Why do fieldwork?

Fieldwork allows you to integrate theory and skills learned in the classroom or laboratory into real world environments. There are multiple benefits to participating in field work:

  • Learn or improve your data collection and analysis skills
  • Develop your observational and investigative skills
  • Work in teams to improve your communication, team work and problem solving skills
  • Experience social or cultural environments outside of your daily routine
  • Network as you collaborate with students, professors and community members from other institutions

Fieldwork at Western

Interested in taking a course with a fieldwork component? Check back regularly as new courses are added!

Already doing fieldwork? If you are a Western faculty member who is currently teaching a fieldwork course, please contact us so we can showcase your work and offer assistance with future collaborations!

Interested in fieldwork? Are you interested in designing a course that includes fieldwork? Contact us to discuss opportunities.


A practicum allows you to access different employment sectors and community environments with the express purpose of applying theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting. Practicum courses allow you to gain valuable experience under the supervision of professionals currently working in a field. You can bring your experience back into the classroom, as well as to future jobs in the sector.

Here are some Practicum opportunities offered at Western:

Continuing Studies at Western

The following diplomas have a practicum component that ranges from 400 – 1300 hours:

  • Arts Management
  • Public Relations
  • Occupational Health and Safety Management
  • Clinical trials Management
  • Not-for-Profit Management
  • Pedorthics
  • Gallery & Art Museum Practice

For more information, visit Continuing Studies at Western.


  • Bachelor & Diploma of Education Teaching Practicum
  • Transition to Professional Practice (T2P)

Information and Media Studies

  • Media in the Public Interest Practicum

Health Science

  • Health Studies
  • Audiology
  • Speech Language Pathology
  • Nursing
  • Physical Therapy


Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Social Science

  • Psychology - Undergraduate
  • Psychology - Graduate