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Spring 2009, Issue 10

Tufts Community Research Center

The Tufts Community Research Center (TCRC) was created in 2004 through the support of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. The TCRC facilitates research that involves Tufts researchers working in collaboration with community partners on projects that benefit the community. TCRC Director Doug Brugge and members of the TCRC Steering Committee provide advice, contacts, and feedback to researchers and community members interested in community collaborative research. The center also awards one competitive seed grant per year and hosts public programs on community collaborative research.

The TCRC Steering Committee is composed of members of the Tufts research community and individuals from Tufts campus communities—Somerville, Medford, the Chinatown neighborhood of Boston—as well as other communities nearby. “This steering committee is very significant because I don’t think there’s another place that has that cross-university representation and substantial community representation, and the kinds of dialogues that we’re trying to get to take place,” says Doug Brugge, TCRC director.

The seed grant program has been very successful: two of the four seed grants awarded since 2004 ($5,000 to $7,000 each year) have helped support successful major grant awards with close to $5 million in funding. One study is on the relationship between air pollution gradients and health effects in individuals living next to major highways, and the other is on assessing and preventing obesity in new immigrants. Other community collaborative research programs at Tufts have involved environmental justice and health disparities. While Tufts campus communities have been major collaborators in the past, TCRC support is available to any community working with a Tufts researcher.

The TCRC has sponsored several public programs on community collaborative research, including a symposium to advance community–university partnerships and a connection forum nicknamed “speed dating” that brought representatives of community groups together with Tufts faculty and administrators to discuss possible research opportunities. Future public programs will be announced on the TCRC website.

Resources available online include:

For more information on the TCRC, please go to http://activecitizen.tufts.edu/?pid=344.


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