Working with Extension

We work on behalf of all Illinois residents.   

By partnering with University of Illinois Extension, researchers gain access to a network of nearly 700 Extension professionals who serve residents in all 102 Illinois counties with applied research and education programs. Extension uses a range of strategies to develop knowledge and transform lives. These include:

Direct education. Online training; professional certifications; youth clubs; conferences; seminar series; presentations; field days; demonstrations; volunteer service activities.
Expert Assistance. Analytic reports; certifications; phone, email, and in-person consultations; answer desks; hotlines; web-based answer services.
Resources, tools, and services. Educational websites, videos and podcasts; fact sheets; manuals; calculators and apps; community gardens.
Media. Blog posts; social media; television and radio appearances; newspaper columns; newsletters.
Partnerships. Convening stakeholder networks; working with state and local agencies; community organizations; industry groups; not-for-profits.
Applied Research. Formal research; trials; scouting; community/citizen science.

Partner with us

Interested in community-engaged research, teaching, or outreach? Here's how an Extension educator can help:

  • Educators can facilitate collaboration with stakeholders
  • Educators can help ensure that outreach occurs within a context of partnership and shared community engagement, involving co-creation of goals and strategies and a two-way exchange of knowledge and resources.
  • Educators can work with you to identify audiences that can use your research, as well as identifying effective channels for the target audience.   
  • Educators can keep you informed of the issues of critical interest to targeted stakeholder groups, and any research needs identified by stakeholders.
  • Want to work an outreach component into a grant? Extension educators can partner on developing relevant material and dissemination.
  • Educators can help identify real-world challenges and service opportunities across Illinois for service learning, connecting you with community partners.
  • Extension can help coordinate engaged scholarship collaborations - like citizen science and service learning - through its volunteer programs, which include Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, 4-H clubs, and Money Mentors.

What is an Extension Educator and what do they do?

An Extension Educator has a Ph.D. or Master’s degree and uses their specialized expertise to develop educational and research programming in a targeted content area. Most Educators are based in field units and work on state and local priority programs and goals.

Educators are experienced in translating research through a variety of effective channels to provide evidence-based education relevant to stakeholder/audience needs. Educators stay in touch with audience needs through needs assessments; collaboration with state and local councils and stakeholder groups; individual consultations; and other outreach activities. Educators may conduct applied research to provide evidence of effective approaches for stakeholders.