Community Based Research
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UVA Community Based Undergraduate Research Grants
Mission: Community based research seeks to foster collaborative partnerships between university researchers and the community, share knowledge among key stakeholders, and address social inequities.
Goal: Community Based Undergraduate Research Grants will provide opportunities for students to develop research projects that apply their academic skills, experiences, and ideas to real world problems. The grants are not limited to a single academic field. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged. Student researchers, under the guidance of a faculty advisor and in collaboration with a community organizsation, will identify a project that addresses a documented public need or issue. Student researchers will design a research project, adopt and deploy a research methodology embedded in an academic field(s), create a research product (paper, presentation, etc.) that benefits the community organization and meets expectations of academic rigor as agreed on by the faculty advisor and the student researcher(s).
Process: Awards will be granted on a competitive basis. Please see attached application form. A budget of anticipated expenses including travel, living expenses, research supplies should not exceed $3,000. If research is a team project that includes graduate students and other undergraduate students, then the budget may not exceed $5,000. An honorarium of $1,000 will be awarded to the faculty advisor.
Application Form: 2017 Application Form
To ensure that you are able to save your form after filling it out, please use the latest version of Adobe Reader to open and save PDFs.
This Year’s Funded Projects:
- Title: Creation of a Filter Factory in Hammanskraal, South Africa: Filter Optimization
Student Researchers: Charles Burgis and John Panagides
Faculty Advisor: Dr. James Smith
Community Partner: PureMadi and Khulisa
In 2015, a team of students partnered with PureMadi and Khulisa to create the infrastructure for a ceramic water filter factory in Hammanskraal, South Africa. Our team plans to return to this factory in the summer of 2016 to further develop the filter making process by experimentally optimizing the clay-sawdust-water formulation for filter manufacturing based on available local materials.
- Title: Continuing Healthy Habits: Examining Connection to Families and Re-Emphasizing Place-Based Learning
Student Researchers: Maeve Curtin, Grace Sheridan, Megan Dister, Emma Kingsbury, and Patrick Mahan
Faculty Advisor: Eileen Merritt
Community Partner: City Schoolyard Garden at Burnley-Moran Elementary School
Environmental education programs can increase children’s ecological, social, and civic wellbeing.
Our team hypothesizes that place-based gardening and cooking during the Healthy Habits Club at Burnley-Moran Elementary School will increase students’ nutritional knowledge, practical skills, and desire to share healthy habits. These objectives will be measured through student surveys and analyzed using categorical statistical software. We expect that the healthy habits the students cultivate will transcend their time at club to positively influence their lives.
- Title: Holistic Improvement of Maternal Health on the Sisseton-Wahpeton-Oyate Reservation: A Community-Driven and Technologically-Integrated Approach
Student Researchers: Nivedha Kannapadi, Evelyn Immonen, and Jack Hitchcock
Faculty Advisor: David Edmunds
Community Partner: Sisseton-Wahpeton-Oyate Tribal Health Program and Aliive
This study seeks to determine the efficacy of using a tablet application, operated by trained community healthcare workers (CHW), as a diagnostic and informational tool for pregnant women on the Sisseton-Wahpeton-Oyate (SWO) reservation. Based on community input from focus group discussions, our team will develop a tablet application and facilitate CHW training. Data will be collected to assess the improvements in maternal healthcare, generated from this approach.
- Title: Controlling Urban Runoff: The Role of Enhanced Bioretention
Student Researchers: Breanna Mariano and Perrin Falkner
Faculty Advisor: Teresa B. Culver
Community Partner: City of Charlottesville
In efforts to effectively reduce stormwater pollutants and meet Total Maximum Daily
Load requirements in Charlottesville, Virginia, a newly enhanced bioretention system
was implemented at Venable Elementary in July 2015. University of Virginia students
will collect stormwater samples and determine through data analysis if this enhanced
bioretention system reduces stormwater runoff better than previous systems. If this new
system yields positive results, the city can widely implement it to be more cost-effective
- Title: Determining the Cultural Acceptability and Feasibility of Self-Screening for Cervical Cancer in Bluefields, Nicaragua
Student Researchers: Yolande Pokam Tchuisseu, Hala Al Kallas, Kaelor Gordon, and Mariana Forero
Faculty Advisor: Emma Mitchell
Community Partner: Centro de Derechos Humanos Cuidadanos y Autonomicos
Cervical cancer is a prevalent health issue in Nicaragua. Through interview and focus group with key informants in the community of Bluefields, Nicaragua, our team will work on a hyposthesis-generating study to determine the cultural acceptability and feasibility of cervical cancer screening methods. This research seeks to determine the necessary community informed set of recommendations in order to allow for the possible implementation of an evidence-based intervention to increase cervical cancer in Bluefields, Nicaragua.
- Title: Age-Friendly Communities Research Project
Student Researcher: Catherine Tatman
Faculty Advisor: Daphne Spain
Community Partner: Senior Center of Charlottesville and seven more Charlottesville NPO
This research project is designed to aid a coalition of Non-Profit Organizations to move forward in their vision to make Charlottesville Virginia an Age-Friendly Community. The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and definitions for Age-Friendly Communities will be used in the research. Identifying agencies and organizations that are currently collecting pertinent data for the Charlottesville area/region constitutes is the purpose of the project.
- Title: Women's Reproductive Health Education in Guatemala: Promoting Education about Cervical Cancer
Student Researchers: Briana Williams and Emily Schutzenhofer
Faculty Advisor: Kent Wayland
Community Partner: Hospitalito Atitlan
The largely indigenous population of the Lake Atitlan basin faces many barriers to health-care, but one of the largest is education about resources available to meet their health needs. The need on which our project will focus is cervical cancer. We will collaborate with local organizations to develop appropriate tools to help women better utilize resources.
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Selected Resources on Community Based Research:
Director of Undergraduate Research Opportunities