Fourteen teams of faculty and community partners have received Engaged Research Grants from the Office of Engagement Initiatives to increase undergraduate involvement in research that strengthens the well-being of communities.
“By combining two of our previous funding opportunities (Engaged Undergraduate Research Grants; Grants for Faculty Research on Engagement) we are able to support teams that are exploring the public purpose of their research, whether they’re just getting involved in community-engaged research or have longstanding programs that are poised for deeper evaluation,” said Amanda Barrett Wittman, associate director for community-engaged curriculum and strategy in the Office of Engagement Initiatives.
There are two types of Engaged Research Grants:
- “Public purpose research grants,” meant to introduce community partner participation into scholarship and expand opportunities for undergraduates to play a meaningful role in the research; and
- “Impact grants,” which support scholars with an existing community-engaged research agenda that are ready to scale student and community partner participation and evaluate the long-term impact of their programs.
Seven newly funded projects include 10 faculty from eight academic departments working with 13 community partners. Seven existing projects received renewed funding, as well.
“This mix of projects shows how diverse community-engaged research can be — that it can happen across the university,” said Wittman. “There are teams focused on the arts, natural sciences, public health and community development, with community partners from government, nonprofits, Cornell Cooperative Extension and more.”
New public purpose research grant projects:
- Learning It, Doing It, Living It: Introducing K-12 students to animal-behavior research and how it is relevant to their own lives;
- Food Research Initiative on the Experience of Nutrition Diversity and Security (FRIENDS): Partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County to better understand nutritional security in upstate New York;
- Entry-ReEntry: Creating a theater piece rooted in the lived experiences of students and Civic Ensemble’s ReEntry Theatre members;
- Protecting Ithaca’s Drinking Water: Partnering with the city’s water treatment plant to understand sources of elevated manganese in the Ithaca Reservoir; and
- COVID-19 Interactive Map: A website offering insight into the rate of coronavirus infections across New York state.
New impact grant projects are:
- The Quagmire of Deer Management: Assessing impacts and public attitudes about deer populations in Tompkins County municipalities; and
- Age-Friendly Communities: Promoting a multigenerational approach through engagement with critical community partners at the local, state and national levels.
The seven projects receiving renewed funding are:
- Advanced Cooking Education Program for NYC Youth: Building culinary and stress-management skills through a culturally inclusive after-school club;
- Bolstering the New York Dairy Industry: Strengthening the state’s dairy industry by implementing and assessing key community partnerships, workforce development and producer-through-consumer education;
- Cornell Raptor Program Assessment: Using surveys to understand future opportunities for a program that promotes the conservation of birds of prey;
- An Engaged Anchor Institution: Measuring and analyzing Cornell’s socioeconomic impact on Tompkins County;
- Future Forests: Collaborating on a citizen-science effort to examine the health of sugar maples in New Hampshire forests;
- The Impact of Equitable Community-Engaged Research: Understanding and documenting what is needed to achieve more equitable collaborations between science institutions and underserved communities; and
- Research Laboratories on the Move: Do mobile research laboratories effectively engage underrepresented populations in social science research?
Visit the Engaged Cornell website to learn more about each project.
Ashlee McGandy is the content strategist in the Office of Engagement Initiatives.