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Community-Engaged Research

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.

Our program is open to research and creative project ideas that:

  • Enhance knowledge and understanding that benefits the community and helps advance equity and inclusion
  • Offer opportunities for students to work 6-12 hours per week during the academic year (Fall/Winter) or full-time in summer (June-July)
  • Students will be supervised by a designated representative of the organization
  • Provide opportunities to meaningfully engage with community members

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.


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.