Rural Engagement Workshop for Academic Faculty

Program Overview

The Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach (PSO) are pleased to launch the Rural Engagement Workshop for Academic Faculty, a program designed to help build momentum for high quality, community-engaged research in rural Georgia communities. The program is coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, along with the College of Public Health, School of Social Work, and UGA Cooperative Extension in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Through a series of five virtual sessions, participants will gain greater understanding of Georgia’s rural demographics and trends, obtain key information on developing sustained relationships with communities, and enhance their ability to engage in rural research in the state.


It is essential that when UGA units and researchers conduct scholarly activities in rural Georgia it is not viewed as lacking coordination, competing with other UGA initiatives, or duplicating efforts. Through this program, academic faculty will recognize the benefits of collaborating with PSO and Extension to conduct successful community engaged scholarship in rural Georgia. Participants will learn about PSO’s and Extension’s existing local networks across the state, which can provide important local contextual information to aid in the researcher’s success.


The inaugural workshop series is limited to twenty (20) full-time academic faculty from any UGA college or school. Participants in the workshop must be nominated by their respective deans. Nominees may focus on a variety of research topics, including but not limited to: natural resources and the environment, workforce development, public health, poverty, educational achievement, and quality of life.

As part of the application process, deans’ nominees will be invited to submit a one page proposal for a potential project relevant to rural Georgia. The proposal should include general ideas for collaboration with a public service faculty member(s), a PSO unit, or Cooperative Extension. The workshop series is designed to help faculty participants develop and hone their collaborative project ideas into a pilot project.

Seed Award

At the end of the workshop series, ten (10) proposals will be selected to receive a $5,000 seed grant to pilot a rural engagement research initiative.

Program Goals

The Rural Engagement Workshop for Academic Faculty is designed to provide a strong introduction to rural engagement for academic faculty by providing the background, information, skills and knowledge needed to be successful. The overall goal of the workshop series is to help strengthen partnerships with communities across Georgia through increased, collaborative, and focused research and scholarship. This program also addresses two of the three University 2025 Strategic directions:

  • Growing research, innovation, and entrepreneurship
  • Strengthening partnerships with communities across Georgia and around the world

Program Requirements

Applicants must commit to the following activities in order to be considered for selection:

  • Participation is mandatory for all five workshop sessions and any pre or post work (see schedule below).
  • Workshops will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 12:00 p.m. and will be held on Fridays during the Spring semester 2021. (Sessions 1-4 will be online and session 5 is planned to be in-person in Athens).
  • During the workshop series, participants will work collaboratively with UGA’s PSO and/or Extension faculty to develop a research proposal that addresses a rural engagement research question.
  • A culminating rural community visit will be held in the spring of 2021.
Session 1Friday, January 22
Session 2Friday, February 12
Session 3Friday, March 5
Session 4Friday, March 26
Session 5Friday, April 16
Community VisitFriday, April 30


Workshop Overview

Throughout the series of workshops, participants will:

  • Learn about the University’s Public Service & Outreach and Extension units, their missions, expertise, and reach.
  • Explore the current demographics of the State, focusing on rural Georgia and trends or needs where research interests may align with faculty research interest.
  • Learn about ethical considerations within community engaged research.
  • Understand the landscape of community engaged research.
  • Get connected with UGA’s “Tool Box” for community engaged research.
  • Learn practical methods to connect resources and research for mutual benefits resulting in both impact and addressing community needs.
  • Hear directly from academic and PSO successful collaborations.
  • Better understand rural dynamics and the relevance of research to community needs.
  • Create a community-engaged research plan.
  • Learn how to build and maintain trust-based relationships.

Application Submission

Each dean may nominate up to four (4) applicants from his or her respective school or college, using this nomination form link. Deadline for nominations is Monday, November 23, 2020. Faculty who are nominated will be notified once all nominations are received and will be sent a link to complete the program application, which will include the following information:

  • Your previous experiences with research projects in rural Georgia (if any)
  • Your previous partnership experience (if any) with PSO or Extension faculty and staff
  • Your interest in the program and how you would benefit from the workshop series
  • How your department/unit would benefit from your participation
  • A one-page pre-proposal that includes:
    • Your particular area(s) of research interest, and how it relates to rural Georgia
    • Identify your PSO or Extension partner for this research. If you need assistance in identifying a partner, the program will be able to assist you
  • An abbreviated Curriculum Vitae (up to 5 pages)

Notification of Selection

The nomination by deans are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 23, 2020. Participant applications will be due by 5:00 pm on Thursday, December 3, 2020. Selections will be announced in December, 2020.


For questions please contact:

Dr. Michelle W Elliott
Coordinator, Rural Engagement Faculty Workshop Series
Public Service Associate, Archway Partnership; 478-697-4522

Dr. Paul Brooks,
Associate Vice President
Public Service and Outreach; 706-542-6045