U-Links is again inviting community groups in Haliburton County to submit their research project proposals for the upcoming academic year.

“This call aims to foster partnerships between community organizations and student researchers from Trent University and Fleming College to address important issues impacting the social, cultural, environmental, and economic aspects of the County,” program coordinator Frank Figuli said.

Since 1999, U-Links has connected community organizations with student researchers, resulting in numerous research projects. Figuli said by participating, organizations gain access to valuable research insights that can inform decision-making processes, increase capacity, and contribute to the betterment of the County.

Even if you have no research background, Figuli said U-Links’ staff can guide organizations through the process.

“All you need is an idea or identified problem within Haliburton County, and our team will assist you in developing a comprehensive project proposal and identifying the appropriate research questions.”

Figuli added whether project ideas relate to community development, health sciences, forensics, environmental sciences, or any other field, ULinks’ professionals will provide the necessary support.

A few examples of ongoing community-based research projects include: assessing Haliburton for agriculture and vendor needs; an evaluation assessment for Abbey Retreat Centre programs; and an evaluation of Haliburton County Lake Associations on water quality testing data and protocols.

In addition to research projects, U-Links also offers opportunities for communityservice learning (CSL). This unique form of experiential education allows students and community members to collaborate on specific activities or events with tangible outcomes. One example is the annual Haliburton-Muskoka-Kawartha Children’s Water Festival, where Environmental Science students from Trent University and community members work together to organize and facilitate educational activity stations.

The deadline for submitting project ideas or topics is July 14. U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research PO Box 655, Minden, ON K0M 2K0; 705-286-2411; admin@ulinks.ca; ulinks.ca . Figuli is at coordinator@ulinks.ca or phone the office.