Acadia to host province-wide Community Research Symposium


The pillars of University Hall at sunset, surrounded by autumn leaves.

Acadia University is hosting Growing Innovation: Meaningful Post-Secondary Research, the first symposium of its kind to discuss innovation in community research and how to support and build meaningful research relationships between Nova Scotia communities and the province’s universities and colleges.

The symposium at Acadia University, to be held November 3 and 4, 2022, brings together faculty, community partners, student researchers, research administrators, and funders of community research. Registration for the event is already at capacity, given the growing importance of community and university/college research collaboration.

“This symposium is not focused on presenting specific research projects,” says Dr. Anna Redden, Associate Vice-President Research and Dean of Graduate Studies. “Rather, it’s about bringing together people who have been involved in community research, or who want to be, to discuss supports needed for growth and innovation and how we can ensure we undertake initiatives that benefit communities in need of research partnerships.”

The agenda includes panel discussions, large and small group discussions, a graphics illustrator, group relationship building, resource sharing and more. Symposium participants will dine at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market on the evening of November 3.

The symposium is being funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Advanced Education. Deputy Minister Nancy MacLellan will be in attendance to welcome the symposium participants. Advanced Education also funds a Nova Scotia community research partnership grants program administered by CLARI, the Change Lab Action Research Initiative. CLARI connects communities to expertise in Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions and enables collaboration through modest grant funding and networking on shared issues. Acadia University is one of CLARI’s seven founding members.

“Funding for community research projects typically supports a faculty member and a student to work with a community partner on a specific issue or problem,” says Ray MacNeil, Manager of CLARI. “CLARI is helping to grow capacity in the province, and building synergy among stakeholders is an important topic for this symposium.”

“Innovation is about making progress,” Dr. Redden adds. “In part, this symposium will be exploring how we can broaden research partnerships, which may include projects with multiple partners, multiple funders and longer-term activities. Community research within the academic sector is growing, and both universities and colleges have roles to play in helping to find solutions for problems as they are being identified – not just by community groups but also by the government sector.”

Growing Innovation Symposium, Acadia University, November 3–4, 2022

The Symposium will take place at Patterson Hall. Download the Symposium Schedule (PDF)

For more information, please contact Dr. John Colton (john.colton@acadiau.ca) or Dr. Edith Callaghan (edith.callaghan@acadiau.ca). For more information about CLARI, please contact Ray MacNeil (ray.macneil@smu.ca).


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