Empowering students through community-based research
IHSI’s Community-Academic Scholars Initiative offers University of Illinois undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue community-based research projects in Urbana-Champaign over the summer.
Scholars from disciplines across campus work with an academic mentor and a mentor from a community organization to address critical issues related to health, poverty, and/or social inequality. Each scholar will contribute to a research project designed to directly benefit community members served by the partner organization. This includes research projects, surveys, program evaluations, needs assessments, or similar projects.
During the 10-week program, students develop applied research skills for measuring and maximizing impact in their work. Scholars come together each week for a coffee hour and facilitated discussion. Invited speakers provide practical guidance to the group, covering topics such as:
- Careers in research
- Conducting research in community settings
- The value of team-based science
- Presenting research to different audiences
The program concludes with students showcasing their work at a final awards ceremony.
Get eligibility, application, and program details to make an impact this summer.
Invite a scholar to join your community-based research project.
Get involved with the Community-Academic Scholars Initiative and collaborate on future programs.
Contact Emily Stone
Scholar Impact Stories
"As someone who hopes to go into the field of medicine, I want to have a better understanding not only to how to help people physically but mentally as well. This project shed light on the huge burden caregivers have and finding ways to ease that burden has been an amazing experience."
"This project allowed me to connect with the Urbana-Champaign area in many meaningful ways. I have gotten to meet with many diverse community organizations and understand their passions, goals, and motivations. I now have a better understanding of how I can help to make the Urbana-Champaign community a more welcome and accessible place for everyone."
"My participation in this program helped solidify my career goals. Being able to call families and ask them if they need help troubleshooting or need resources sent to them, such as places to call for help, books for their children to continue growing their cognitive skills, and more, was really fulfilling and I intend to continue similar work in the future."