FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


1. I’m interested in collaborating in a CARL-project – how do I apply?
2. What are the benefits of doing a CARL-project?
3. What is a Civil Society Organisation?
4. What are the criteria for acceptance of a project proposal?
5. What is the difference between this project and an ordinary academic dissertation?
6. What happens in cases of disagreements once the project has started?
7. What is the role of the community partner liaison person?
8. Who owns the project afterwards?
9. What is the role of the academic supervisor in a CARL-project?
10. Is a CARL-project more time-consuming than an ordinary dissertation?
11. Are there any restrictions relating to the projects, ethical or otherwise?
12. What is Community-based research?

1. I’m interested in collaborating in a CARL-project – how do I apply?
See link “Apply here!"
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2.What are the benefits of doing a CARL-project?
See links and videos featuring Community partners and students which is provided as extra information under the "Apply Here!" link.
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3. What is a Civil Society Organisation?
We define CSOs as groups who are non-governmental, non-profit, not representing commercial interests, and/or pursuing a common purpose in the public interest. These groups include: trade unions, NGOs, professional associations, charities, grass-roots organisations, organisations that involve citizens in local and municipal life, churches and religious committees, and so on.
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4.What are the criteria for acceptance of a project proposal? (a) The project must come from a civil society organisation
(b) The project fits with the values of the CARL initiative
(c) Scientific research is possible
(d) Research can be carried out within required timescale/resource allocation
(e) The research adheres to accepted ethical standards for scientific research
(f) The research question is not commercial
(g) The research will be carried out with or on behalf of a community/voluntary group with limited or no resources to carry out research
(h) Proposals from well-funded community/voluntary groups can be accepted provided that the group has no funding for research and that the research would benefit marginalised members of society
(i) The research will not normally be carried out with or on behalf of a statutory body or profit-making body
(j) The research will be relevant to a wider audience outside the group
(k) Cost share will only occur if group can afford to contribute towards costs
(l) Client will be able to use results
(m) Results will be available to the public
(n) The project will not substitute free labour for jobs
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5. What is the difference between this project and an ordinary academic dissertation?
The difference is that the research question has been posed by a community or voluntary organisation who are looking for a third level student who will explore the topic on their behalf, rather than the student coming up with a topic on his/her own and then approaching people in the community.
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6. What happens in cases of disagreements once the project has started?
The purpose of the research agreement signed before the collaboration begins is to clarify exactly what the community partner would like the student to do and for the partner to understand what the student can do within the limitations of his/her dissertation. Should problems arise despite of this agreement subsequent meetings are facilitated by the CARL Coordinator which help to bring everyone back on track again. Fortunately this happens only on very rare occasions.
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7. What is the role of the community partner liaison person?
The community partner’s liaison person is the research-partner and keeps in regular contact with the student.She/he provides feedback on proposed research methodologies and facilitates for fieldwork, for example recruits interviewees. Sometimes other people from the community partner also become co-researchers in the project.
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8. Who owns the project afterwards?
The copyright, or any other intellectual property rights, created by the project will rest with the university. Free and full use by the community group for the purpose declared when the project was initiated is agreed in advance. Use for any further purpose(s) will be for negotiation and approval on a case-to-case basis. Permission will not be unreasonably withheld.
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9. What is the role of the academic supervisor in a CARL-project?
The academic supervisor’s role is to make sure that the project proceeds according to the criteria for the dissertation. The supervisor reads chapter drafts and provides academic feedback on these.
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10. Is a CARL-project more time-consuming than an ordinary dissertation?
There is very little extra time involved as the project evolves similarly to an ordinary dissertation, however, after the project is completed more time is needed to share the results with the group. Typically the student meets with the community partner within one month of the submission of the dissertation to explore actions / implementation plans arising from the study and to discuss future public presentations of the study by the student and/or the community partner.
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11. Are there any restrictions relating to the projects, ethical or otherwise?
University College Cork has an ethical framework in place in order to protect vulnerable groups of people in society from research causing any harm. This means that students can sometimes be restricted in what they can do and who they can involve in their fieldwork, and research that directly involves people under the age of 18 is not possible. Research proposals that include interviews/focus groups/questionnaires with people from marginalised and vulnerable groups will have to be passed through UCC Research Ethics Committees before the research can commence. It is important to bear in mind that this process can sometimes be lengthy.
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12. What is Community-based research?
Community-based research is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. It begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change.
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Community-Academic Research Links

School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

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