Who we are

The Community Engaged Scholarship Institute is an intermediary organization that both builds capacity for and does community engagement and social innovation. We work among faculty, civil society organizations, students, government, and other agencies that benefit from partnered and innovative research and other projects.

The Institute operates as a strategic hub for engaged scholarship within the University of Guelph and the broader community. Established in 2009, we draw on strong traditions of community engagement and socially responsive research in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and beyond.

Meet the team.


What we do

The Institute:

  • Provides internships, training, and deep opportunities for students to engage with real life issues
  • Convenes content experts from civil society and the university to address complex issues
  • Supports faculty in developing and delivering engaged teaching, engaged research, and knowledge mobilization
  • Addresses difficult institutional issues including: faculty reward and development, obstacles to community participation, and ethics procedures
  • Collaborates with regional, national, and international networks that seek to increase the relevance of higher education institutions
  • Pilots new mechanisms for collaboration and social innovation

Read about our current projects.

Learn how we can work with you.


How we work

The Institute seeks to innovate and intervene in the systems in which universities and communities operate. Our work is informed by the scholarship of engagement, social innovation, and lessons from intermediary practitioners in creating strategic layers of research and teaching efforts. We practice reciprocity with our partners, and define reciprocity differently depending on context. We work towards principled engagement - not engagement at any cost.

We do this by:

  • Leveraging the resources of universities for community benefit
  • Building and maintaining generative relationships
  • Addressing external and internal obstacles to the practice of community engaged research and teaching, social innovation, and institutional citizenship
  • Focusing on strategic and innovative engagement, such as through the Guelph Lab and the Research Shop
  • Choosing opportunities that are transformational rather than transactional
  • Promoting a public scholarship model that integrates research and teaching and designing new and novel methods for faculty engagement

See how we define our terms.