About CARL

About CARL

The Community-Academic Research Links initiative, CARL, is located at University College Cork and invites non-profit voluntary or community organisations (CSOs) to suggest potential research topics that can be pursued by students on their behalf across a wide range of academic disciplines in UCC.

CARL is based on the ‘Science Shop’ model and follows a 40 year European tradition with similar initiatives on-going in some of the highest ranked Universities in Europe and worldwide. CARL’s mission is to provide independent, participatory research support in response to concerns experienced by civil society.

The CARL initiative is committed to : 

  • promoting the scientific method and research in the community;
  • working in an ethical and scientific way to promote knowledge in society;
  • working with community/voluntary groups which would not normally have the resources to pay for or carry out their own scientific research;
  • facilitating and empowering those groups with limited resources to carry out research;
  • not substituting real jobs with free labour;
  • supporting collaborative partnerships and participation in research;
  • working in an open, transparent, honest and accountable way;
  • promoting equality, justice and diversity;
  • opposing discrimination of any sort;
  • promoting positive social change to address poverty and exclusion;
  • pursuing social, environmental and economic sustainability. 


The Community-Academic Research Links (CARL) initiative is based on the Science Shop model and was one of the first of its type to be established in the Republic of Ireland in 2006. The first CARL projects with community partners began in September 2010. In its short existence, CARL has produced impressive and important pieces of research that have generated a huge interest outside the university walls and the project reports have even had an impact at government policy level. CARL is now extending its activities to establish a University-wide community-based participatory research approach within all four Colleges.

You may find more information about CARL research model below.

CARL Research Process

Civic & Community Engagement

Comhpháirteachas Cathartha agus Pobail

University College Cork, Cork, Ireland,