About Us & Engaged Research

The Centre for Engaged Research is committed to embedding the principles and practices of engaged research at Dublin City University and across the island of Ireland. The  Centre for Engaged Research pursues a new agenda that has come to the fore in Ireland and Europe that is part of a wider movement to turn research into an active partnership with society to address public needs and pressing social issues. Engaged research is not only a more inspiring ideal for academia, it is also a more promising basis for a just and sustainable society.


Engaged research is part of the broader move towards collaborative engagement with community stakeholders to address societal challenges in a responsive manner. It explores the potential for increased collaborative activities, participation and knowledge dissemination, facilitated through new technologies, shared governance structures and partnerships. This brings greater public ownership and connection with policymaking and responses to societal issues.


Engaged research aligns with the  Dublin City University mission to transform lives and societies through education, research, engagement and innovation. It reflects the need to rebuild societies towards a new sustainable, collaborative and resilient model after the current health crisis and to harness and communicate the knowledge of the university to address social needs directly, understanding the transformative power of university/community partnerships.


The Centre for Engaged Research's values include;

Sharing knowledge: there is a need to share knowledge on how this research is conducted sometimes ‘below the radar screen’, there is an evolving eco-system which is both user-centred and characterised by open innovation

Building capacity: this needs to happen at local, national and international scales where the power of collaboration and of shared platforms are very much in evidence with a cultural change in the nature of the university implicit

Promoting community-university partnerships: these may be with residents organisations, social service or health care providers or local authorities to develop effective research strategies and action

Addressing social need: the increase in local social need, social deprivation, access to higher education and the digital divide will all need to be addressed to build social cohesion

Co-creating with communities: solving social and technological issues together, between the university and community stakeholders, through local partnerships to match community issues and research questions with DCU expertise

Exploring the role of new technologies: Modern technologies should be utilised to enable, facilitate and promote public engagement in research.

What is Engaged Research?

Engaged Research is a research practice which places the citizen at the heart of the research. It is a new form of research aligning with participatory research approaches; such as Citizen Science, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), and Public and Patient Involvement (PPI). Through purposeful consultation with community groups and engagement throughout the various research stages, utilising both a bottom-up and a top-down approach, engaged research advances knowledge and addresses real social problems.


Engaged Research is, for us;

Collaborative: The community is a full participant in shaping the research question, analysing the data and developing effective knowledge dissemination strategies.

Change-oriented: it empowers communities and local stakeholders through knowledge and promotes democratic values for positive social transformation in the way it conducts its research and manages its community and industry partnerships.

Inclusive: it reflects the various types of knowledge, including experiential forms that are essential for a socially inclusive model of research, engaging citizens in research and innovation decision-making

Creative: it improves the interactions between stakeholders by promoting public engagement with research to identify societal challenges, sharing expertise and research methodologies, disseminating knowledge in an inclusive, trans-disciplinary manner.