Engaged research includes the different ways that researchers meaningfully interact or collaborate with various stakeholders over any or all stages of a research process, from issue formulation, the production or co-creation of new knowledge, to knowledge evaluation and dissemination. Stakeholders may include target communities, and members of the public or groups that are somehow related to the research process.
Engaged research is becoming an increasingly important force in addressing and helping communities solve local problems. Academic researchers use different terms to describe this kind of inquiry, including engaged research, applied research, community-based research, and applied research partnerships. Despite the variety of labels, however, all of this research has a common focus on the application of academic knowledge to specific community-based issues.
Through engaged research initiatives, communities and institutions of higher education often work together to identify the problem to be studied, investigate that problem through data collection, analyse and interpret the collected information, and decide how to implement an intervention based on the findings. Individual studies may include some or all of these steps of shared research and action.