Project details and outputs

A key goal underpinning the project will be to ensure that the project delivers a legacy of progress and impact that will last beyond the lifetime of the project.
We will aim to develop guidelines and surveys appropriate for the evaluation of a community university partnership.

For this reason, our work will result in the production of our four main Intellectual Outputs:

  1. State-of-the-art review of European civic university partnerships

    The review will concentrate on the different models of community or civic university partnerships such as community-based participatory research (CBPR), front-door (e.g. science shops), embedded and networked partnerships. Where our review will be particularly innovative is in its dual focus on identifying methods of widening participation in, and demonstrating and evaluating impact of, community engagement activities.

  2. Case Studies Compendium

    This intellectual output will provide an in-depth exploration of a series of socially engaged innovations recently carried out within each of the partner institutions.

    We will look at reported outcomes of all of the CUPs included in the overview to determine if, and how, success is usually measured and reported. We will then aim to define the processes, structures and governance which are common to, and best nurture successful civic university partnerships.

    Finally, we will review the guidance and recommendations of local government and the voluntary and community sectors in each of the Partner countries who have identified their “hard to reach” communities and created guidance on how to improve engagement.

  3. Final Synthesis Report of Pilot Project Delivery

    We will synthesise our findings into a report which aims to identify gaps and shortfalls in the engagement process and consider opportunities for improving equity and representation throughout all stages of the collaborative process so that research is better able to respond to society’s needs.

    The Synthesis Report will detail the piloting activities undertaken by each partner. The piloting examples will be detailed real-world interventions and should help others in the field to understand what took place – helping to transfer the innovations we have piloted. This will provide the opportunity for partners to collaborate and share best practice and experience with one another as we will be piloting approaches already recognised as being successful.

  4. Community University Partnership Toolkit

    Drawing on the findings of this project and outputs from previous EU funded projects, we will develop a toolkit for community university partnerships. This toolkit, made available as an online resource, will enable universities across the EU to develop their socially engaged research projects, building on our own examination of the state-of-the-art and lessons emerging from the pilot projects. The Toolkit should include a series of case studies to offer guidance to HEIs and CSOs on successful community engagement and engaged research, as well as for university strategy formation around Third Mission and co-creation. The contents should also comprise “How to” guides, short films and infographics alongside more traditional reporting and publications.



Through sharing and developing successful innovative practice, we aim to:

  •  Share case studies that showcase how Partner institutes are embedded in their local and regional environment and how they respond to societal questions and research requests;
  •  Share examples of how engaging with and mobilising citizens can facilitate teaching; research or volunteering opportunities and create innovative solutions to societal issues;
  •  Unpick the successful and less successful elements and processes of civic university partnerships;
  •  Gather the perspective of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the benefits to them and the community they serve, of partnering with the HEI.


The SEU Project is funded with the support of the European Union's ERASMUS+ Programme. All views expressed are those of the authors and not of the European Commission.