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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.


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.

Key Strategies are building relationships and connecting the dots between regional, national, global networks, Hamilton, and McMaster and also building community engagement capacity through tools, programs, and infrastructure. Our intended impact is to create 500 community-engaged partnerships by 2025. Our ultimate impact is an inclusive, sustainable greater Hamilton.

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:


We can’t have community without relationships—these are the connections that build community. Any successful partnership must be built on trusting and respectful relationships guided by integrity. We realize that relationships take time to develop and thus we commit to providing opportunities to connect people across communities, sectors, and disciplines to foster a genuine and interconnected network of colleagues to work together for an inclusive, sustainable Greater Hamilton Area.


From design, to participation, to the outcomes of a project, we strive to work together for mutual benefit.


We are conscious of the historical and structural inequities that exist in society and strive to provide access and opportunities to all residents and members of our communities.


Acknowledging that different communities work on different timelines and schedules, we strive to consider both the short and long-term implications of our work together.

Openness to Learning

Change takes time. We are committed to continually learn from and evaluate our work together, reflecting on and sharing both our successes and failures to grow as individuals, partnerships, and communities.

Commitment to Act

We aspire to make a positive difference in our community by sharing and acting on our knowledge to contribute to the greater social good.

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

McMaster Research Shop Learn More

The McMaster Research Shop works with public, non-profit, and community organizations in Hamilton to provide plain-language answers to research questions.

Paths to Collaboration: A Community Guide to Working with McMaster Researchers Learn More

If you are a community group or a non-profit organization looking for assistance with research, or if you have been approached by McMaster researchers interested in conducting research with you, this guide is for you.

McMaster Children & Youth University (MCYU) Learn More

MCYU programs bridge the gap between the university and the wider Hamilton community by sharing the exciting research happening at McMaster University in a way that is fun and accessible to ALL children and youth.

McMaster Community-Campus Update Subscribe now

Subscribe to our newsletter, the McMaster Community-Campus Update.  We feature different things our office is up to, upcoming opportunities, and upcoming events in the community.