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The CRP is a collaborative initiative between the Faculty of Social Sciences and local community organizations designed to foster ongoing, mutually beneficial research partnerships.

The Faculty of Social Sciences has a strong foundation in Community-Engaged Research. We are committed to working with community organizations to advance research that addresses critical societal challenges and contributes to increased societal health and wellbeing.

Our main objectives are to:

  • Increase the research capacity of all stakeholders by developing, sharing, and mobilizing infrastructure, resources, and expertise. 
  • Expand upon faculty research strengths and advance interdisciplinary and intersectoral research.
  • Facilitate mutually beneficial research collaborations between researchers and community organizations.
  • Advance research that responds to needs and aspirations of local communities.
  • Provide unique community-engaged research, training, and professional networking opportunities for students.
  • Increase capacity to secure academic, community and government grants for collaborative research.

Our goal is to create structures for university-community projects to grow, flourish and interact with one another to reach higher heights than they would have without this platform.

View the CRP's Annual Report

The platform currently consists of five organizations: Canadian Mental Health Association of Hamilton (CMHA Hamilton), Centre [3] for Artistic and Social Practice (Centre 3), Hamilton Public Library (HPL), John Howard Society of Ontario (JHSO) & Young Women’s Christian Association of Hamilton (YWCA Hamilton).

Located in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, partner organizations are networked locally, regionally and nationally. Members are invested in advancing the contribution of research collaborations to their organization and working with McMaster to co-develop a program of collaborative research.

Platform Partners deliver programs and services to a broad range of community members that intersect with the research interests and expertise of faculty members in the social sciences.

Each Platform Partner has a unique relationship with the Faculty of Social Sciences working with faculty members, Post-Doctoral Fellows, staff and students to advance social impact research. Organizations are represented in the Platform by a staff member who may be appointed as a McMaster Adjunct Professor. We continue to explore opportunities to involve additional partners based on the interests and needs of faculty members and of local community organizations.

The CRP is organized around five research areas:

  • Mental Health and the CMHA
  • Arts-informed Research and Centre [3]
  • Social Engagement & Community Resilience and the HPL
  • Gender & Intersectionality and the YWCA
  • Crime, Criminalization and Punishment and the JHSO

Each research area is represented by a working group made up of interdisciplinary scholars, students, staff and community practitioners. Membership shifts based on the interests and needs of those involved in ongoing collaborative projects.

The CRP is co-led by an Academic Director and a Manager and is governed by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from McMaster and community partners.


Learn more about the CRP

Current Projects

Mental Health

  • Emotions Matter: Skill Building, Emotional Resilience and Social Support for Care Workers

  • Grief, Memorials, and Loss through COVID-19: Resources for caring while physical distancing

  • Investigating the Role of Peer Support in Reducing the Harms of Substance Use and Advancing Recovery: A Qualitative Analysis of CMHA Hamilton’s Community Mental Health Peer Support Initiatives

  • Loneliness & Mental Health Through COVID-19 and Beyond

  • Managing Mental Health: A Survey-Based Research Evaluation of a COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Counselling Program 

  • Staying Home: Program Assessment of the Multi-sectoral Intensive Supports Pilot Approach to Finding and Securing Housing for Persons Experiencing Chronic Homelessness in Hamilton

Learn more about these projects

Arts Informed Research

  • Centre[4] Art and Research

Social Engagement and Community Resilience

  • Aging in Place with Public Libraries
  • Emotional Labour in Libraries: Stressors in the Library Work Field
  • Hamilton Public Library Food Security Project
  • Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) & Hamilton Public Library PRESTO Card Pilot Evaluation
  • Promoting Digital Literacy through Public Libraries
  • Toward the Development of a Framework for Research Collaboration Between Public Libraries and Post-Secondary Institutions
  • Social Work in Libraries


Learn more about these projects

Gender & Intersectionality

  • Mobilizing Resources for People Experiencing Pregnancy and Homelessness

  • Nurturing Good Beginnings: Evaluating and Assessing the YWCA’s community care program for new mothers/birthing parents

  • Physical Activity for Any-Body: Body Positivity and Inclusivity Within Physical Culture(s) 

  • Responding to Pregnancy, Infant Apprehension and Homelessness: Building Community Capacity for Adequate Housing and Support Through YWCA Hamilton

  • YWCA Hamilton Centre for Feminist Research and Evaluation

  • YWCA Hamilton Power Up: Small Business Program Participant Feedback Survey

Learn more about these projects