Researchers for Change: Engagement, Mobilization and Impact at the Graduate Level

Researchers for Change: Engagement, Mobilization and Impact at the Graduate Level

"Researchers for Change" was a pilot knowledge exchange initiative bringing together graduate students from different disciplines to build capacity for engagement, collaboration, action and creativity in graduate research. Through three facilitated roundtable discussions, participants connected with peers in person and online to reflect on, question, and explore the opportunities and challenges that come with being an engaged researcher/mobilizer.

Conversations centered on:

Creative Knowledge Mobilization at the Graduate Level (February 15, 2023, 12-1pm)

In this roundtable, participants discussed ways to incorporate creativity and meaning-making throughout their graduate studies. They reflected on the perceived mismatch between what 'impact' means inside and outside of academia, and brainstormed ideas of how we can work to reconcile those perspectives. They noted some of the contraints and challenges they face as emerging engaged researchers, and shared examples of how peers are creating and sharing knowledge that can be meaningful for community.

Co-Creating Knowledge with Non-Academic Partners (March 1, 2023 12-1pm)

This session focused on the experiences of graduate students as convenors and co-creators in community-engaged partnerships. Participants reflected on the meaning of reciprocity and what grad students bring to a partnership. They discussed the difficulties of balancing community partners’ needs and priorities with their own abilities, resources and time constraints. They also pointed to the lack of funding available for students to do this work and the need for more resources to guide them in this work.

Graduate Students as Actors of Change (March 15, 2023 12-1pm)

Graduate students can be powerful actors of change on and off campus. In this last session, participants were invited to consider how change happens and how they see themselves contributing to it. They engaged in an exercise to reflect on how our own biases and positionalities inform our research and relationships. Finally, they discussed the types of resources and structures that would best support them in this work moving forward.