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Community Engagement

Faculty and Staff

Many staff and faculty members at McMaster are already deeply involved with community in a variety of ways.  Many others are just getting started.

Either way, we know that this work takes a significant amount of time and energy to build relationships and launch new research, education, or service partnerships.  We’re here to help!

What is Community Engagement?

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.

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

What does the Office of Community Engagement do?

We align resources in response to current community needs.

We open doors by engaging with everyone as a good neighbour.

We create space to support collaboration and convene partnerships.

And we build relationships across difference.

With a wide range of expertise, our staff are a resource for the development of community-campus partnerships for the public good 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:


We help make connections between you and internal or external partners, as well as share information about your event/initiative with our networks.

Submit a community-campus event to share in our newsletter. We can also provide proactive support to help you connect and form relationships.


We provide small grants to support new or developing community-campus partnerships.

If you already have a community partner present and are looking to develop your partnership, you can apply for a Community-Campus Catalyst Grant.



We can meet with you to consult and advise on a community-campus project or initiative, and help to build capacity at an individual level.  Think of us as a critical friend!

If you have an idea with partnership potential that aligns with our mandate, connect with us to set up a meeting.  We can provide feedback on ideas, potential partners, and proposals.


We help build capacity for programs or organizations, where our office can play a small or large role in your project or initiative.

We can convene a meeting to connect potential partners, design a workshop to facilitate a dialogue, or link your initiative to one of our office’s existing programs.


Below are some of the most common ways that you can further embed community engagement in your research and education activities, or get involved with the Office of Community Engagement.  If you’re not sure which path to choose, contact us and we can help you figure it out!

Principles of Community Engagement Workshops Connect With Us

If you are interested in learning more about the Principles of Community Engagement and want to attend a Community-Engaged Education Workshop, please contact our office.

Community- Engaged Education Toolkit Learn More

The Community-Engaged Education Toolkit has been developed to encourage faculty, staff, and students to embed principles of community engagement into their community-engaged teaching and extracurricular partnerships.

President's Awards for Community Engaged Research Learn More

The President’s Award for Community Engaged Research was established to recognize both community and campus representatives who have demonstrated a commitment to initiating and supporting excellence in community-campus research initiatives.

Human Resources Services Learn More

Human Resources is committed to creating and linking McMaster employees to meaningful volunteer opportunities which allows for personal and professional development, provides networking and collaborative opportunities across the University, mobilizes and supports community-driven change, and builds partnerships with the greater community.

CityLAB Learn More

Do you have an experiential or project-based course? Would you like your students to work on a real-life challenge with City staff?

CityLAB is an innovation hub that brings together student, academic, and civic leaders to co-create a better Hamilton for all. CityLAB works with city staff members to identify complex challenges related to the theme areas of Healthy Neighbourhoods, Climate Change, and Municipal Excellence, and matches them with faculty and courses from Hamilton’s three post-secondary institutions: Mohawk College, McMaster University, and Redeemer University College.

Connect to the Community Engagement Minor