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The Trent Centre for Community-Based Education has changed its name to the Trent Community Research Centre (TCRC).

So what’s in a name? Having worked with the Peterborough community for 20 years to provide Trent Students with quality research experiences, we thought it was about time we acknowledged this research focus in our name! As part of our planning for the next 20 years we have also been thinking about how we present ourselves to the Trent and wider Peterborough community as an independent facilitator of community-based research. Though doing a project with the TCRC is a huge educational experience, at its best, it is also a genuinely valuable high-quality research project that directly impacts the local community. Hence the wish to emphasize the ideas of ‘research’, ‘community’, and our role as an independent community-campus ‘centre’ in our new name.

For those of you who know our work, or have been directly involved in one of our projects, you will know that the TCRC has been at the heart of community campus partnerships since 1995. In this time we have helped to develop and support hundreds of research projects that directly benefit the Peterborough City and County community while providing powerful on-the-job for credit research experience for Trent students.

For those of you who are wondering what this is all about, think co-op or internships, but better! Here at the TCRC, we work closely with a great range of community organizations from charities and not-for-profits to local County and City Municipalities to design research projects that address these organizations’ development and research needs. We then match these projects with interested Trent students who want to gain applied research experience as part of their studies. Students can work with us in specific courses in International Development, Geography and Forensic Science, or can apply to work with the TCRC as an independent student or sometimes through paid internships and fellowships. We help develop projects and match them to students with appropriate skills and interests. We also support students through the research process, and provide an opportunity for the results to be presented to the local community. Doing a community-based research project is a great way to apply and develop academic skills, and give something back to the local community.

research centre

Amongst this year’s projects, is a study into the effectiveness of the root cellar at the Seasoned Spoon Café. This project is not only measuring temperature and humidity levels in the cellar and assessing how well vegetables are being preserved, but it is also looking at the history and current practise of root cellar usage in Ontario. To gain a sense of the diversity of research, we also have a student cataloguing and researching a photographic archive that dates back to the early 1960s, and a student who is surveying the mental health needs of Trent students. To understand the full range of projects that you can work on through the TCRC visit our website and explore our current projects. Through our website you can also look through all past projects in our library.

This is a busy time of year for us what with projects moving towards their conclusion and planning for the Community Innovation Forum in March where we showcase all of this year’s work (see below for details). This is also the time of year when we put out our call for proposals to the community. We are now, once again, reaching out to the Peterborough community for research projects, research questions, and development needs that we can turn into student and faculty-involved research projects for the 2015/2016 academic year. If you are involved in a group or organization, either on campus, in the city of Peterborough, or in Peterborough County, and you have a research need, please be in touch.

Community Innovation Forum: Knowledge and Talent in Action

To experience the dynamic work of the TCRC first hand, and see the research done this year by Trent students, join us at this year’s Forum at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club, 1030 Armour Road, Peterborough (on the East Bank bus route) on Thursday March 26. All Trent and Peterborough community members are welcome to join us between 12:30pm and 6:30pm to see what community-based research can achieve. Trent students are encouraged to use this opportunity to learn more about our work.

There will also be an opportunity for Trent students to learn more about community-based research at an Information Session to be held on Thursday March 19, 3:30pm to 4:30pm in the Gzowski College Meeting Space. At this event you can learn from, and speak to, students already doing research projects, and speak with our staff and faculty who have supported previous projects.