New communities, new relationships: Reflections from junior faculty engaging in community-based research
Demers, Jennifer M.
Petts, Rachel A.
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Demers, J. M., Gregus, S., & Petts, R. A. (2022). New Communities, New Relationships: Reflections from Junior Faculty Engaging in Community-Based Research. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 37(17–18), NP14938–NP14969. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605221106187
Promising community-level approaches to addressing interpersonal violence have increased in popularity over the last few decades. However, the shift towards community-based research has not necessarily extended to all graduate program pedagogies, especially given the range of disciplines from which researchers of interpersonal violence hail. Coupled with the fact that many new doctorates relocate to unfamiliar communities to secure their tenure-track positions, junior faculty may find the task of forming and maintaining rewarding community partnerships to be daunting at best. This article focuses on the process of embarking on community-based research as a new faculty member within a new community. In this article, three tenure-track assistant professors of a psychology department within an urban, Midwestern-based university reflected on their own experiences establishing community-based research collaborations after relocating for their positions. Personal narratives focused on experienced challenges and successes related to building mutually beneficial relationships with community organizations of relevance to addressing interpersonal violence (e.g., victim response services, healthcare providers, school systems) were written. Individual narratives were then compiled and six overarching themes (i.e., establishing initial connections, messaging and marketing one?s research to gain buy-in, overcoming misperceptions and distrust, maintaining relationships as an external partner, conducting research with community organizations, balancing community-based research and academic demands) related to challenges and multiple associated strategies and lessons learned were identified. Implications of this article for researchers of interpersonal violence who are building careers in a new community are discussed. Some of these implications include the need for increased mentorship, trainings and resources that are specifically targeted to junior faculty?s unique needs, and changes to departmental and college level infrastructures that better support and reward community-based research.
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