the Sidewalk Ends
a scholar, but I'm also a citizen. I separate the two somewhat,
but I think the purpose of acquiring knowledge is to improve
Howard Frumkin, School of Public Health
advocacy comes in demonstrating that environmentally sound decisions
can be really good for business. They don't have to decide to
spend money for what feels like no return except to get Greenpeace
off their backs."
Steven Walton, School of Business
Emory faculty have been involved
in more than 160 community-based or community-focused research
projects in greater Atlanta and Georgia over the last three years,
according to a recent study by the Office of Institutional Planning
The main goals of the web-based survey, conducted in late 1999
and early 2000, were to learn how faculty perceive the influences
of their scholarship in the community and how the community has
shaped their scholarly work, according to Susan Frost, vice provost
for institutional planning and research. "An additional
goal was to learn what faculty believe is needed to help support
Emory's research in local communities," she adds.
A total of 122 Emory faculty reported information on 164 research
projects--completed or underway--in greater Atlanta and the state.
Although faculty who reported such projects represent all schools
at Emory, about half were in the health sciences.
One important finding was that most respondents believe support
for research in the community needs to be stronger. Currently,
assistance appears to be more informal than formal. For example,
84 percent of faculty respondents noted they found helpful support
among their colleagues, whereas only 16 percent found their department,
their school, or the university helpful in supporting their research
in local communities. When asked to identify the main barriers
to expanding scholarship in greater Atlanta, 50 percent of respondents
believe Emory lacks the infrastructure to support such efforts.
Others noted the lack of knowledge regarding potential collaborators,
either at Emory or other institutions in the metro area. Below
is a brief profile of faculty scholarly involvement in the community,
as reflected in the findings of this survey.
FUNDING Eighty percent of the research projects reported
were funded projects. The most frequent source of support was
the federal government, which supported 32 percent of the projects,
followed by university sources, which funded 21 percent of the
COLLABORATION Overall, scholarship in the community is collaborative;
in 68 percent of the reported projects, respondents collaborated
with other faculty at Emory, and approximately half of the projects
involved collaboration with scholars at other universities.
DURATION Most research projects required a long-term
commitment; about 80 percent of the projects are being conducted
over a period of more than one year.
CONTENT More than a third (36 percent) of all research
projects conducted in greater Atlanta and Georgia represent basic
or theoretical studies. Approximately half of all studies involved
some type of applied research, including policy studies (16 percent),
clinical studies (15 percent), or action research (17 percent).
SCOPE The geographical area covered by 50 percent
of research projects was the city of Atlanta. About one quarter
of the research projects focused on Atlanta suburbs, and a similar
proportion covered Emory's neighborhoods. Twenty-three percent
were statewide projects, and only fourteen percent focused on
regions of the state outside metro Atlanta.
BENEFICIARIES Respondents believe that the citizens of greater
Atlanta or Georgia benefit most from scholarship in the region
(55 percent of respondents), followed by scholars or interested
observers (49 percent), hospital or other health care providers
(36 percent), and state and local government agencies (36 percent).
(Many of the projects were said to benefit multiple groups.)
RECOMMENDATIONS The study recommends four areas of action for
further strengthening support for research in the community:
1) institutional support for scholarship in the community needs
to be stronger, especially in the area of logistics (i.e., transportation,
office space, and staff support); 2) faculty conducting research
in local communities need help connecting with Emory colleagues
who share similar interests; 3) scholarship in local communities
needs to be recognized and properly rewarded, and 4) Emory's
connections with state and local organizations, universities,
and funding sources need to be expanded.
For further information on this study or on other studies concerning
support for scholarly work of Emory faculty, visit the IPR web
site (www.emory.edu/PROVOST/IPR), or contact the IPR office at
Faculty with scholarly interests in the community are invited
to visit the Community Partnerships database at www.oucp.emory.edu
to verify and update existing information on current or completed
projects and add information on any new projects. D.T.