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 email@example.com or they can drop in during his office hours on Fridays from 11:30am until 12:30pm June 4th - August 6th.
- Gain exposure to a wide variety of topics of vital interest to local communities
- Experience research or creative activities through year‐long projects supervised by U-M researchers, local nonprofits or government agencies
- Seminars focused on social justice, research methods and reciprocal partnerships with communities, personal and professional growth
- Become part of a collaborative learning community through which small teams delve into pertinent CER‐related topics of mutual interest
- Mentorship from U-M or community research supervisors and UROP staff
- Experience with presenting on research during the Spring Symposium
- Work on a research project ranging between 6 to 12 hours each week for the full academic year
- Biweekly interdisciplinary seminars featuring guest speakers, field trips, and discussions
- Explore topics such as research methods, strengths based approaches to community work, systemic racism and unconscious bias, policy and policy development
- Support from a UROP Peer Facilitator for the full academic year who will provide guidance with:
- Applying and interviewing for research projects
- Building a positive working relationship with the research mentor and the community
- Learning research skills and approaches that respects and values the expertise of the community
- Connecting students with resources and opportunities at U-M
- Fostering a learning community of students with diverse backgrounds who share a strong interest in advancing social justice
- Present on research project through the Annual Spring Research Symposium.
The Community-Engaged Research Program is open to undergraduates from all schools and disciplines who are interested in communities, research and social justice, and who may possibly be considering careers in the academic, nonprofit and public service sectors.
Priority is given to first year and second year students, but students with higher academic standing seeking a first time experience with community-engaged research and for whom the social justice focus of the seminars would be particularly meaningful are also welcome to apply.
Students can either earn 2-4 academic credit hours per term or work-study financial compensation and 1 academic credit hour per term:
Academic Credit: Students can earn 2-4 academic credits per term, based on the level of research required. Students will register by permission for UROP credit upon being hired for a research project.
Work-Study: Students who qualify for financial aid can earn work-study wages if that is a component of their financial aid package. Students with financial need, but who do not have work-study as part of their financial aid package, can apply for a grant upon admission to the program (more details will be provided upon admission).
Examples of Community-Engaged Research (CER) Projects
Assisted Detroit African-American Muslim and African Muslim storytelling project with background work for new multi-media website and permanent public archive.
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.
Conducted community outreach and gathered feedback in Northeast Detroit to inform strategic plan for a neighborhood “Main Street” economic revitalization initiative.
Surveyed residents in Southwest Detroit to identify indoor air quality problems to aid organization’s environmental work and to inform City of Detroit Council
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.
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: