Interdisciplinary Community-University Research Programme
“The University takes great pride in its relationship with the City and the local community. ‘Our Health’ is a wonderful example of the way in which teaching and research can be put in the service of the community.”
– Lesley McAra (Assistant Principal Community Relations, University of Edinburgh)
Our Health projects create community-based research that invites local communities to set real-world research questions and agendas around health and wellbeing. The project is based on the ‘science shops’ model that is used widely across Europe to try to bridge research institutes and wider society.
Our Health projects are valuable because they aim to play a role in tackling the health inequalities that exist in the city of Edinburgh, and particularly in the most severely disadvantaged communities. We work in partnership with NHS Lothian and Edinburgh City Council to improve health literacy and empower local patient and community groups to take greater responsibility and control of their own health through community-university driven research.
The first Our Health pilot projects were launched in July 2018 and ran for seven weeks across the summer break. Undergraduate and postgraduate students from across all three colleges enrolled onto two separate projects and formed interdisciplinary teams with two community partner groups, the Cheyne Gang Choir and Breathtakers.
We are delighted by how positively the Our Health projects have been received by students, local community groups and colleagues across the University of Edinburgh.
“The Our Health projects are an excellent example of patient-centred research. They are led by our superb students from interdisciplinary subject areas across the University. I want to see the University engaging ever more deeply with the community, the city and the public.”
– Peter Mathieson (Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Edinburgh)
As well as continuing the research we have begun with The Cheyne Gang and Breathtakers, we are currently working with university teaching staff to look at how we can involve more students in these rich learning experiences and help them gain credits for their community-based research.