Scholarship of Application

Scholarship of Application

"Service activities must be tied directly to one's special field of knowledge and relate to, and flow directly out of, this professional activity. Such service is serious, demanding work, requiting the rigor--and the accountability...In application activities, theory and practice vitally interact, and one renews the other."  - Ernest Boyer, 1990

What is Scholarship of Application?

The scholarship of application is the use of discipline knowledge and research tools to solve specific real work problems, improve processes, or develop a practice application. The scholarship of application occurs at the intersection of academics and practitioners, who collaboratively seek ways to put knowledge to work improving society. Scholarship of application is sometimes referred to as the scholarship of practice, engagement, or service.

Common examples of engagement in the scholarship of application are publishing an article applying disciplinary knowledge to a practical problem, conducting a study for a local organization to help solve a problem, serving industry or government as an external consultant on improving processes, performance, and outcomes, conducting a study for a university to develop a policy, service to a curriculum committee, and fulfilling a leadership role on a board. 

Why is the Scholarship of  Application important?  

The purpose of scholarship of application is to aid society and professions in addressing problems.  

The scholarship of application is valuable to improving society. It results in a stronger academic and social community, develops an individual faculty member’s credibility as an expert within his or her field, and helps relate theory to practice so that practice can inform theory.  

What does engaging in the Scholarship of Application look like?

Scholars engaging in the scholarship of application answer broad questions, such as:

  • How can knowledge be responsibly applied to problems?
  • How can knowledge be helpful to people and institutions? 
  • How does effective practice challenge/change/extend existing theory?

Answering these questions involves engaging in institution/academic service or service to the lay public that connects knowledge to real world issues.  When faculty engage in the scholarship of application, they use their expertise as a researcher and knowledge of their discipline to contribute towards solving a real world problem or developing a policy or resource.  Often, faculty engage in action research. Sometimes this results in written reports or publications, typically published in non-academic outlets such as professional or trade magazines or on an organization's website. Engaging in application requires using leadership skills, discipline knowledge, problem solving, and, sometimes, professional writing skills. 

Scholarship of Application at UOPX

Here are examples of our faculty completing scholarship of Application:

Boylan, S. (September/October 2015). Public Opinion: A center of gravity leaders forget. Military Review, 95(5), 93-105.

Padgett, J.D., Gossett, K., Mayer, R., Chien, W., Turner, F. (2017). Improving Patient Safety through high reliability organizations. The Qualitative Report, 22(2), 410-425.

Ruffin, T.R. (2016). Health information technology and quality management. International Journal of Information Communication Technologies and Human Development, 8(4), 56-72.

Sloboda, B.W., Putcha, C., Khani, M. (2016). A new approach for forecasting model in the estimation of social security benefits. Journal of Applied Business and Economics, 18(2).

Williams, G.B., and Berndt, A.E. (2016). Community-based partnership to improve parenting skills and academic achievement and reduce subsequent births. International Journal of Nursing & Clinical Practice, 3, 192-198.

Wilson, C., Sour, A., Miller, L.A., Saygbay-Hallie, M., Miller, C., Daniels, R. (2016). A standardized tool for measuring military-friendliness of colleges and universities. Sage Open, April-June, 1-13.


Find Support at UOPX:

The University maintains research centers dedicated to pursuing new research in areas relevant to our degree programs.  Facutly within these centers transform their research into application through community partnerships and lectures, as well as board work.  Visit the University Research Centers to learn about scholarship of application occurring at UOPX.

Additional Resources:

Learn about conducting applied studies using action research, logic models, or case studies: 

Learn about serving on a boards:

Read more: Professional and Academic Articles about Application

Learn about a faculty's experiences serving on boards and developing policy:

  • Kaufman, A. a. (2015). Get involved in state, regional, national organizations for rewarding professional development opportunities. Successful Registrar, 15(5), 12.
  • Allcock, N. M. (2007). Getting involved in professional policy development. American Journal Of Health-System Pharmacy, 64(11), 1144-1146. doi:10.2146/ajhp060559

Read the report that revitalized extension offices of universities, Returning to Our Roots: The Engaged Institution, to reflect on one type of application:

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