UNIC for Engaged Research (UNIC4ER)

UNIC researchers tackle societal challenges by involving and engaging citizens, civil society and public/cities authorities in research and innovation activities. Engaged research offers an interdisciplinary approach and method for systematic knowledge production not only for society but also with and within society.

UNIC’s research programme

This is an umbrella term that describes research approaches that have a common interest in collaborative inquiry with society. It assumes knowledge, insight and expertise that comes from a variety of sources - researchers, citizens, policy makers, practitioners - and that research outputs are concerned with the process of co-production of knowledge through partnership for societal impact. It encompasses a range of participatory and community-based methodologies and ensures research rigour, the democratization of research and the increased impact of research activities. As such it offers unique opportunities for a European University seeking to develop a better understanding of today’s post-industrial challenges, including those related to inclusion and diversity as well as offering insights into the potential approaches to tacking respective challenges.


UNIC4ER Pulse Dashboard

A visual showcase of the results of the UNIC4ER programme

Main results and outcomes of UNIC's Engaged Reasearch programme. This data has been collected as part of out regular monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities...

The Core Concept Of The UNIC4ER:

Engaged Research

Linking up with the broader focus of UNIC on inclusion, impact and mobility, we will develop a research and innovation structure around the core concept of engaged research. Engaged Research is an overarching term that describes a wide range of comprehensive research approaches and methodologies that share a common interest in collaborative engagement ‘with’ and ‘within’ society. Fundamentally committed to academic freedom and the public good, Engaged Research aims to improve, understand, or investigate issues of public interest where societal partners are active collaborative participants in the research process. It nurtures democratic competencies through participation - from defining research need, to the co-creation of knowledge and equitable and reciprocal knowledge translation to and with society. Committed to sustainability, and inherently transdisciplinary, it explicitly builds awareness of the interconnectedness of our social-ecological systems. Imbued with different knowledge traditions (expertise, practice, experience and wisdom), it is manifestly impactful research that has an emancipatory and transformative social justice orientation - consistently pursuing intersectional understanding towards greater social solidarity, diversity, inclusion and equity.

UNIC4ER in a nutshell + UNIC Seed Funding

Through this programme, UNIC’s partners strive to mainstream engaged research to facilitate effective community-university partnerships by developing new infrastructure and processes within the university, including:

  • Shared understandings of what we mean by engaged research, agreed guidelines for good practice, and nationally agreed indicators to measure impact;
  • Resources/databases of engaged research so this work is visible and accessible;
  • Institutional infrastructures and resources to facilitate engaged research which are linked to all colleges and disciplines within the institution, rather than being siloed in one discipline, department or college;
  • Commitment to embed engaged research in undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral training as a means of building future research capacity.

  • UNIC offers SEED FUNDING for collaborative engaged research projects. UNIC Seed Fund

    Contact us

    For more information on UNIC4ER, please contact: unic4er@eur.nl

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