Evidence of Efficacy

CEWIL Community and Industry Research Projects (CIRPs) 

This brief guide is aimed at organizations and outlines the different phases of a research project in which the community or industry organization partners with a university or a college. It’s a great resource to introduce a community partner or company what to expect in a collaboration with a post-secondary institution, as well as the kinds of supervision they should provide during the midterm check-in and final assessment.


Gullion, J. S., & Ellis, E. G. (2014). A Pedagogical Approach to Action Research. Journal    of Applied Social Science, 8(1), 61–72. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43615185

Framed in the context of “Action Research,” this article assesses the values of integrating applied research into a sociology curriculum by giving graduate students the opportunity to work with community partners. A major goal of the article is to present itself as a guide for future faculty who wish to integrate something similar into their curriculum. As such, it is thorough in explaining the individual steps taken, from explaining the goals of the community partners to including student feedback in the article itself.


Korsching, P. F., and Peter, G. (2007). Graduate Student Professional Development in Applied Sociology Courses through Group Research Projects. Journal of Applied Social Science, 1(2), 19-28. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23548731.

Peter Korsching and Gregory Peter lay out how to implement group-based applied research projects at the graduate level. Their article highlights these projects as “significant learning experiences,” allowing students to develop skills that will increase their competitiveness in the job market, but also to create “tangible evidence of scholarship.” The study emphasizes the need for work experiences that graduate students can use for academic publications, an aspect of professional development that is oftentimes left to extracurricular seminars or events.


Moon, J. A. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning. Routledge.

This book tackles the many aspects of reflective assignments. It offers an introduction to reflective assignments by defining terms, such as “reflection,” “reflective learning,” “reflective writing,” and “reflective practice.” This is followed by a theoretical discussion of the relationship between reflection and learning. It is also useful with regard to the depth that reflections should have and how to assess reflective writing. (Chapters of note are “Assessment issues,” “The depth quality of reflective learning,” “Introducing reflective activities to learners,” and “The nature of reflective learning.)


Vásquez-León, Marcela, et al. (2009). Engaging Students in Applied Research:   Experiences from Collaborative Research and Learning in Brazil and Paraguay. Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, 2(2), 46–65. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23744892.

This journal article examines the benefits of engaging both graduate and undergraduate students in community-based research. It focuses on the steps taken to engage students with doing work beyond academia, which better prepares them to “assume a level of responsibility” once they complete their degrees. The article is extremely thorough in describing the exact steps taken by the program overseers to implement and execute this project.


Wilson, K. S., & Aron, S. (2021). Expanding horizons and diversifying skills. In Horinko, L. A. et al. (Eds.), The Reimagined PhD: Navigating 21st century humanities education (pp. 119-131). Rutgers University Press.

This chapter examines and explains the methods, strategies, and results of integrating applied research projects into coursework in order to make PhD students more competitive in the job market. An experiential session was conducted in 2016 out of the UCLA Department of History, in partnership with the University of Chicago, University of New Mexico, and Columbia University. This article does a thorough job at explaining the “epidemic” faced by many Arts PhD graduates as the job market for tenureship becomes increasingly competitive. Additionally, this article notes how one of the main goals of the project was to get students from diverse fields working together to enrich their overall experience. The article provides a step-by-step explanation of this process and its end results, which serves as a valuable guide.