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Community Engagement


What is community engagement?

Community engagement at McMaster involves performing research, teaching, and service for or with community members and partners for the public good.

Community engagement at McMaster University values the expert knowledge and passion that members of the community (from local to global) have about their communities and issues affecting them; it fosters ongoing collaboration between University and community partners on how to better understand and consider the issues identified as priorities by local and global communities.

What does the office of community engagement do?

With a wide range of expertise, our staff are a resource for the development of community-campus partnerships in Hamilton.

We can help you move your ideas into action by creating opportunities to build relationships, share knowledge, and to ultimately make a difference through your work.  We work to develop and support multi-stakeholder collaboration because a variety of perspectives, skills, and approaches are required to address the complex challenges facing our communities.

Here are examples of how we develop partnerships:


Through the McMaster Community Poverty Initiative, we connected the Good Shepherd and faculty in Social Sciences at McMaster and advised to host a film night about homelessness that would reach a new audience among students.


We provide Community-Campus Catalyst Grants in amounts up to $1000 to support new or developing partnerships involving McMaster faculty, staff, or students and a community partner.


We met with staff at the City of Hamilton who are leading the City’s community engagement strategy to advise on how public engagement is being embedded into City activities and projects.


Through the Research Shop, McMaster students collaborated with the Gibson-Landsdale neighbourhood to compile an oral history of community neighbourhood organization leading to the development of a manual for a steering committee and volunteers.

Principles of Community Engagement

The primary goal of McMaster’s community engagement strategy is to establish these principles as the foundation of community-campus partnerships.

Action-oriented principles of community engagement were co-developed between community and campus partners and include:





Openness to Learning

Commitment to Act

Why should I connect with the Office of Community Engagement?

Whether through a research project, Community Engagement workshop, new partnership, or otherwise, there are many ways that community members can collaborate with faculty, staff, and students to work for mutual benefit.

How to get involved