Community-engaged research activities through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) are in the spirit of the U-M’s mission to serve the people of Michigan and the world, and to develop leaders and citizens to challenge the present and enrich the future. By community-engaged, we mean students and faculty are not only researching within communities, but they are working with and learning from the communities. Our program is not merely place-based, it values communities’ expertise with and vital interest in their own histories, cultural wealth, aspirations and concerns. At the core of community-engaged research is reciprocal partnership where the community’s involvement deepens understanding of the issues being explored and ensures that the products created are of mutual interest and sustained benefit to the community. These learning opportunities are transformative in developing our students as leaders and citizens with the confidence, skills, knowledge and commitment essential for quality research and social action for years to come.
We are committed to following U-M Engaged Michigan principles and values to guide our students’ work in ethical and sustainable ways:
- Principle of Recognition for the expertise and knowledge within the community
- Principle of Respect for individuals, communities, and their resources
- Principle of Equitable Partnership focused on reciprocal relationships, transparency, and accountability
To Learn About Our Existing Community-Engaged Research Partnerships, Please Read Below
During the academic year, students may choose from approximately 25 community-engaged research opportunities in Detroit, Ann Arbor, or Washtenaw County under the direction of either community organizations or U-M faculty or both. Students can commit between 6 to 12 hours per week on community-engaged research while they take other courses. Depending on the nature of the project, students could possibly complete some of their research hours remotely, but ideally will spend a majority of their research hours at their organization’s site where they can learn about the community firsthand. Students also participate in a seminar course that introduces them to research methods, and mentors them with their professional development.
UROP is currently working to expand opportunities for community-engaged research during the academic year, including creating a curriculum geared to help students learn skills especially apropos for working in partnership with communities.
Community organizations interested in having students work with them on their research needs during the academic year may submit proposals.
U-M faculty interested in having students work with them on community-engaged research projects during the academic year may submit proposals here:
The Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program (DCERP) is a 9-week summer fellowship that annually recruits 15 to 20 undergraduates who work full-time with Detroit community organizations on projects concerning a variety of research topics. The students also become part of a learning community that live in Detroit (housing provided at an urban campus) as they regularly share about their project experiences and participate in a curriculum that introduces them to the city and its history through a social justice lens. Community organizations interested in having students work with them on their research needs may submit proposals here: