University News

Dr. Kajner Wins Grant to Conduct Community-Focused Research Study 10.16.18
Dr. Kajner Wins Grant to Conduct Community-Focused Research Study

Tania Kajner, Ph.D., Program Director of the Master of Public Policy & Administration program in Vancouver, was awarded a research grant this summer from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council.

Dr. Kajner is conducting a qualitative research study to explore how scholars understand the formal and informal governance impacts of community-engaged scholarship in institutions of higher education in Canada. The project began in September and will run for 18 months.

Community-engaged scholarship links research, education, and programs to community-defined needs in a mutually beneficial partnership with the community.

Dr. Kajner was inspired to pursue this project because “since the mid-nineties, community-engaged scholarship has established a strong foothold in Canadian higher education,” she said. “Engagement practices, such as community-based research and community service learning, are seen as important points of connection for communities to partner with institutions of higher education. While many project-based impacts have been noted, there is little information on the more systemic impacts of engagement.”

“I began to wonder, are communities impacting higher education systems and structures? Are they a new partner in higher education governance or is their impact and connection limited to project-based encounters?”

Dr. Kajner’s study aligns with Adler University’s mission of community engagement.

“Many scholars and institutions of higher education in Canada have embraced the idea that a stronger connection with communities is needed,” Dr. Kajner said. “Community knowledge, including the lived experiences of marginalized people, can contextualize and inform research and classroom study. Academic research and expertise can support social justice efforts by linking to critical perspectives as well as evidence-informed practices and strategies in order to help ensure strong, welcoming, and inclusive communities.”

Working with and mentoring student researchers is also a key component of the project. Research assistants will assist in all phases of the research from literature search, participant recruitment, data collection and analysis, and knowledge transfer.


About Adler University

Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952, it enrolls more than 1,400 students in master’s and doctoral programs for social change through its campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver, as well as an Online Campus. Adler University’s mission is to continue the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, by graduating socially responsible practitioners, engaging communities and advancing social justice.