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Community-Engaged Research Program

The Community‐Engaged Research (CER) is a  program specifically designed for students interested in gaining experience with research and creative activities that benefit and have lasting value to local communities.  Our seminar has a social justice focus and is aimed at helping the students understand and be successful with research, and with working in partnership with communities.   Program partners include  U-M researchers, local nonprofits and government agencies, offering students opportunities to learn about and gain experience researching a wide variety of topics  of vital interest to communities such as education, the environment, health care access, restorative justice, social inclusion and more.   The seminar may be especially useful to students considering  possible career paths in the academic, nonprofit and public service sectors.

Prospective students are welcome to contact Ray Wang, Assistant Director of Community-Engaged Research at urop.engaged@umich.edu or they can drop in during his  office hours on Fridays from 11:30am until 12:30pm June 4th - August 6th.

Examples of Community-Engaged Research (CER) Projects 

ARTS/CULTURE

Assisted Detroit African-American Muslim and African Muslim storytelling project with background work for new multi-media website and permanent public archive.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Researched evidence-based addiction treatment practices to inform creation of a new program seeking to provide effective treatment for Flint residents with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Conducted community outreach and gathered feedback in Northeast Detroit to inform strategic plan for a neighborhood “Main Street” economic revitalization initiative.

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

Surveyed residents in Southwest Detroit to identify indoor air quality problems to aid organization’s environmental work and to inform City of Detroit Council

EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT

Analyzed feedback from children in an after school learning program to identify strengths and weaknesses of in person and online versions of the program to inform creation of a successful hybrid (in person and remote) education program.

HEALTH DISPARITIES DURING COVID

Collected stories from community members about their experiences addressing health, social and economic problems stemming from the pandemic.  The data will help to advise Washtenaw County policy decisions.

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Helped nonprofit strategize and plan community events to increase awareness and understanding of the “Clean Slate Bill” to enable individuals to expunge criminal records and get a second chance at integrating into the workforce and other opportunities.

 

For more examples of CER projects from 2020-21, visit: 

https://courses.lsa.umich.edu/urop-symposium/urop-fellowship/community-engaged/