News and Views

UCC appoints first Engaged Research Officer.

19 Jan 2022
Dr. Jean van Sinderen-Law, Associate Vice-President and Director of European Relations and Public Affairs, UCC; Dr. Martin Galvin, Head of UCC Civic and Community Engagement; Dr. John Barimo, Engaged Research Officer, UCC Research; Dr. David O’Connell, Director of Research Support & Policy at UCC; Prof. John Cryan, Vice President for Research & Innovation at UCC

UCC Research is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. John Barimo as UCC’s first Engaged Research Officer.

Engaged Research is an umbrella term that describes research approaches that have a common interest in collaborative inquiry with community partners and stakeholders. Enabled via the European University of Post-Industrial Cities (UNIC) Alliance and supported by a Horizon 2020 award (UNIC4ER), John will play a key role in developing and implementing an Engaged Research Strategy for UCC including the development of collaborations with societal partners that improve our understanding of local, regional and global issues of public interest and concern.

UCC has a strong commitment to societal engagement which, along with research and teaching, constitutes a Third Mission of the institution. UCC is a recognized global leader and was recently ranked 8th globally in The Times Higher Education Societal Impact Rankings (2021) and was the recipient of the MacJannet Prize for Community Engagement (2019) from the International Talloires Network of Engaged Universities.

Our goal is to develop a common alliance-wide framework and supportive systems for involving and engaging citizens, NGOs/ CSOs, public sector and local city authorities in Research & Innovation that creates positive societal impacts. Over the next three years, the eight UNIC partner universities across the continent will develop an interdisciplinary approach to carrying out research, not only for, but also with and within, society.

A key first step in this regard is the hosting by UCC of a Strategy Forum on Engaged Research on the 18-19th January followed by In-Person event in Cork in March. This Forum aims to bring together UNIC colleagues and their City Partners from across Europe for a series of workshops to inform and develop a Joint Declaration on Engaged Research. Concurrently a common strategy, framework and supportive systems will be envisioned for involving and engaging citizens, civil society, public & city authorities and academia in future collaborative research and innovation initiatives.

In welcoming the annoucement, Professor John Cryan, Vice-President for Research & Innovation at UCC stated: “Many researchers at UCC have active research programmes committed to Engaged Research projects related to community development, climate emergency, human migration. However, the appointment of Dr. Barimo into a dedicated role provides us an opportunity to refine and align our institutional policies while developing an engaged research strategy that promotes more active engagement between universities and societal partners.

Dr. David O'Connell, Director of Research Support & Policy at UCC, added: "On behalf of the UCC Research team, I am delighted to welcome John as UCC's first Engaged Research Officer. I look forward to working with John and colleagues to developing and implementing an Engaged Research Strategy for UCC that builds relationships with our societal partners to address local, regional and global challenges".

Dr. Martin Galvin, UCC's Head of UCC Civic and Community Engagement, commented: "We are really excited about this new position, which will further advance our University third mission activities, our civic and community engagement initiatives locally and our Campus Engage activities nationally".

Dr. John Barimo said: “I’m delighted to be serving in this new role UCC and working in support of Engaged Research across the University and the wider UNIC consortium. I think researchers have a responsibility to engage with societal partners and create new knowledge that advances societal challenges such as the Sustainable Development Goals".

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