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Sharing a Success Story: Engaging Students in Social Innovation Research

The following post was written by Dr. Martha Fanjoy, Researcher at the School of Global Access

As our team works to wrap up our successful Social Innovation Resource for Beginners pilot, we had the pleasure of sharing our process and our learning with colleagues from across campus at an Engaging Students in Social Innovation Research Brown Bag presentation on March 26, 2019.

Before being joined by three of our four student research assistants, I briefly shared how our research model was purposefully designed to not only test the Social Innovation on the Ground resource, but to support student-led research in an engaging and educational way.

Reflective of our co-creation methodology that works to include the voices and experiences of research participants, our Brown Bag presentation transitioned to a panel discussion where I sat with the research assistants to reflect on a series of questions about our experiences, not only with tool we tested but with the research process itself. It was encouraging to hear each student share their own unique learning, perspective, and reflections on everything from our team meetings to their project design to the benefits and challenges of presenting their research project posters at the end of January.

Our brief Brown Bag presentation demonstrated once again how working with students adds value to applied research on every level: it enhances their educational and campus experiences, it provides practical skills that support transition to the workforce, and it enriches the depth and scope of our applied research projects.

If you’d like to learn more about how we work with students on our projects or if you have specific questions about this pilot, please get in touch at