The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, in partnership with the Center for Social and Behavioral Science, is seeking community-engaged research projects for the fifth year of the successful Community-Academic Scholars Program. Please encourage faculty and staff in your unit to apply for this unique program by Jan. 8, 2023.
This campus-wide program offers rewarding opportunities for faculty and researchers with established community-academic research collaborations by matching them with U of I undergraduate research assistants for 10 weeks over the summer. Faculty and researchers investigating a range of topics related to health, poverty, food or resource insecurity, or social inequity are invited to apply. Projects involving technology-inspired health and social innovations are particularly welcomed (though not weighted in selection), reflecting the Chancellor’s charge for developing new educational and research model programs in these areas. Project types may include program implementation and/or evaluation, needs assessments, or any other research project developed jointly with a community partner in response to a community need.
Community-Academic Scholars participating in this program have diverse interests and skillsets, and all share a passion for making an impact in our community. Research teams comprised of a faculty or staff researcher and community member are matched with an undergraduate scholar whose interests, experience, and abilities best fit the project. Preference is given to minoritized students and to those whose background reflects the communities a project serves.
In addition to gaining valuable community-engaged research experience, students meet weekly as a cohort to participate in professional development sessions led by the program leadership team and invited guest speakers. They also receive a cash stipend to offset their costs of living while participating in this program.
We hope that you will consider encouraging faculty and staff in your unit to submit a project proposal by Jan. 8, and that you will encourage students in your unit to express their interest and participate in this mutually impactful and rewarding program. Thank you for your interests and efforts toward building stronger community-academic relationships, and for supporting our students along their career paths and future leadership roles.
Stephen Boppart, M.D., Ph.D.
Interim Director, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute