Partnering in Research

Collaborations and diverse perspectives not only help us better understand and tackle problems, they sustain us.

“Partnering in Research” (PiR) is a collaborative venture between the Knowledge Exchange Unit of UBC’s Vice President Research and Innovation, and the Office of Community Engagement under the Vice President External Relations. Inspired by the success of the inaugural UBC Partnering in Research Conference in June 2023, our teams are committed to offering regular programs that uphold and promote excellence in partnered research across UBC. 

This initiative is designed for UBC researchers, students and staff engaged in partnered research, as well as community partners already collaborating with UBC. 

Join us for a series of educational workshops designed to build upon the professional development insights from the 2023 PiR conference. In these sessions, facilitators from various disciplines will work with participants to cultivate the skills necessary for enhancing engaged research.

UBC’s Partnering in Research Conference

The inaugural conference in June 2023 at UBC Robson Square marked a significant milestone, bringing together 57 speakers and 187 attendees to explore the multifaceted aspects of partnered research.

Stay tuned for details on the 2025 conference!

What is Partnered Research?

We define partnered research* as the collaboration between institutions of higher education and wider communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.  

The purpose of partnered research is to foster connections between university knowledge and resources and those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; to address critical societal issues; to prepare educated, engaged citizens; to support reconciliation and decolonization; to strengthen civic responsibility; and to contribute to the public good. 

*This definition is adapted from the Carnegie Foundation’s definition of community engagement, used in the Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement

Our Purpose

Our mission is to convene, support, and celebrate engaged researchers—including graduate students and early career researchers—their non-academic partners, and university staff involved in reciprocal research partnerships that catalyze community-centered change. We aim to: 

  • Organize learning opportunities aligned with contemporary best practices. 
  • Celebrate and advocate for the value of reciprocal partnered research. 
  • Leverage UBC’s existing teams and expertise. 
  • Connect communities of engaged researchers. 

Looking ahead to 2024, “Partnering in Research” seeks to act on the insights and calls for action from the 2023 conference, focusing on the creation of programs and resources for building inclusive partnerships, recognizing and showcasing community-university partnerships, and enhancing support for partnered projects. 

Dive into our Q&A series where researchers address key challenges faced in partnered research. Each installment explores practical solutions and shares valuable insights, celebrating the collaborative journey towards impactful research.

Keep an eye out for upcoming PiR interviews in the coming months.

Contact Information

For further inquiries, reach out to us at