About Boston Civic Media Consortium

Organized by the Engagement Lab, Boston Civic Media builds relationships, shares knowledge and develops innovative curriculum in civic media for undergraduate education. We are a faculty-led network and consortium that link more than ten higher education institutions and numerous community partner organizations across the Greater Boston region. We are building a strong, collaborative network of engaged research and teaching. The network collaborates through themed quarterly convenings and Twitter chats while sharing resources through a bi-weekly listserv newsletter. We collate and share civic media syllabi as well as lightning talks on the website. This initiative is organized by the Engagement Lab at Emerson and funded by the Teagle Foundation. Join the listerv here and the newsletter here.

Initiatives that have emerged from BCM include A Community Approach to Research Partnerships, a community map of faculty, organizations, and government initiatives work on climate science, and a citizen science case study project with the Local Sense Lab.

A Community Approach to Research Partnerships (CARP)

The Community Approach to Research Partnerships (CARP) aims to collaboratively establish academic and community partnership models based on mutual benefit, understanding and trust. Existing partnership models do little to assure that academic research goals meet community needs. This project works to amplify the voices of community-based organizations and ensure that they play an active role in deciding such key issues as the relevance, goals and ethics guiding research in their own communities. The Community Approach to Research Partnerships (CARP) emerged out of the Boston Civic Media Consortium, a network of civic media researchers and organizational partners in Boston. A series of interviews, discussion groups, and facilitated workshops with members across the academic and community stakeholder spectrum will contribute to the creation of a document that organizations can use to structure their institutional collaborations. In addition to building the capacity of local organizations and improving end-user designs, the outcomes of the project may serve as a national precedent for how community groups can enter academic partnerships from an equitable negotiating position. The MOU Template is a suggested series of prompts for the researcher and subject parties to arrive at a set of mutual interests, shared decision-making practices, and an agreed-upon understanding of data ownership practices. The template is a living and adaptable document. You can review, select, and modify the sections that are most relevant to you or fill it out in its entirety. This practice can take the shape of anything from a 15 minute conversation with your research partner to a multi-week process with an array of stakeholders to negotiate and establish the most mutually-beneficial terms for collaboration.

Download the MOU Template for Mutually Beneficial Academic-Community Partnerships.