REU: Minority Health Disparities

Updates for Summer 2016 coming soon

Some details currently appearing on this site are still for Summer 2015. By mid-November we'll have our Summer 2016 updates in place, ready for you to browse and apply!

Join us in essential, interdisciplinary research to help eliminate health disparities among minorities.

For information contact

Kim Gocchi Carrasco
MHD Program Coordinator
2014 Minority Health Disparities SROP summer scholars
2014 Minority Health Disparities SROP summer scholars

Application Dates

Nov 15 App opens
February 1 Priority deadline
March 1 App closes
April 1 Decisions complete

Program Dates

June 7 Arrival day
June 8 Program begins
August 12 Program ends
August 13 Departure day

Who should apply

Related fields

  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Communication Studies
  • Political Sciences
  • Anthropology
  • Child, Youth, and Family Studies
  • Educational Psychology
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Nutrition
  • Other health related fields

In this program, each project has unique prerequisites. See project descriptions below for details.


Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree

See Eligibility for more information.

How to apply

Follow the application steps to submit the following materials.

About the Program

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Minority Health Disparities Initiative (MHDI) administers the Minority Health Disparities summer research program. Minority Health Disparities summer research program is an interdisciplinary program aimed at conducting cutting edge social and behavioral research into understanding and reducing health disparities and in diversifying minority health researchers.

Participating students work with faculty mentors in a variety of social and behavioral science disciplines to support health research.  All projects are on-going, but the work specific to the summer research program will be completed within the 10-week timeframe.  At the conclusion of the program, participants will present their research at the Summer Research Symposium poster session.

Students will work with a team of researchers potentially consisting of post-doctoral associates, graduate students, undergraduate students, multiple faculty, and their primary faculty mentor(s).  Additionally, participating students may interact with community and state agencies by participating in the Nebraska Minority Health Conference.

Objectives of the program include developing the research skills of participating students, as well as furthering research in the area of minority health disparities. 

The Minority Health Disparities students and faculty celebrate a successful summer at the research symposium.
The Minority Health Disparities students and faculty celebrate a successful summer at the research symposium.


  • Competitive stipend: $5,000
  • Double-occupancy room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access


  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  • Canoe and camping trip
  • Research symposium
Learn more about academic and financial benefits.

2015 Mentors and Projects

David DiLillo, Ph.D. Psychology

Understanding Risk for Revictimization Among Young Adult Women
Prerequisistes: This project requires a minimum of one completed course in statistics/research methods class in psychology.
The current project will broaden the focus of revictimization to include several types of adult interpersonal violence (sexual, physical, psychological) within shifting relational contexts as the women in our sample pass through critical developmental junctures (i.e., establishing intimate partner relations).Read more about this project

Kirk Dombrowski, Ph.D. Sociology

Network Risk of HIV and HCV Infection in Rural Puerto Rico
Prerequisistes: This project requires basic research methodology experience – in particular social statistics, familiarity with Excel, and locating scholarly journals through library databases.
This project investigates the social network contexts of HIV and HCV infection drawing on data from four rural communities in Puerto Rico collected in 2014-5. The emphasis of this project will be on the use of block modeling and network statistical analysis to isolate indicators of high risk that result from dyadic relationships among injectors and the injection “roles” that result from these interactions.Read more about this project

Christina Falci, Ph.D. Sociology

Science Networks, Race, and Gender Inequality in a University Setting
Prerequisistes: This project requires basic research methodology experience – in particular social statistics, familiarity with Excel, and locating scholarly journals through library databases.
For this REU project, the participant will work with an interdisciplinary research team to (1) examine the effect of a diverse array of network characteristics pertaining to the size, structure, and composition of research networks on a faculty member’s research productivity (e.g., number of publications) and quality (e.g., citation counts), and (2) explore differences gender in faculty network characteristics.Read more about this project

Art Maerlender, Ph.D. Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior

Race and Ethnic Disparities in Concussion Outcomes
This REU project will work with existing data from the High School Reporting database, the CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, and the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury to evaluate the presence of race- and ethnicity-based disparities in concussion related epidemiology. The student will also work with both the mentor and graduate students to develop a network-based method for discovering peer influence on service seeking and related care behaviors.Read more about this project

Julia McQuillan, Ph.D. and Trish Wonch Hill, Ph.D. Sociology

Promoting Health Science Literacy to Reduce Health Disparities
Prerequisistes: This project requires knowledge of basic research methodology, familiarity with Excel, making graphs, basic statistics, and knowing an additional language preferred.
The participant will work with the youth and teachers during a summer program. In addition, the participant will help with conducting focus groups, interviews, participant observation, and statistical analyses of a survey of adult Nebraskan’s attitudes towards vaccination. The data analyses will focus on using data to promote health science literacy.Read more about this project

Jordan Soliz, Ph.D. Communication Studies

Community Dynamics in Racial-Ethnic Identity
Prerequisistes: This project requires experience with SPSS or other statistical analysis software.
REU participants will use statistical techniques to test process models linking community dynamics and personal relations with development of racial-ethnic identity and salient health outcomes. Further, comparisons between racial-ethnic groups including biracial-ethnic groups will be examined.Read more about this project

Dejun Su, Ph.D. Center for Reducing Health Disparities

Remote Intervention and Telehealth
Prerequisistes: This project requires experience or skills in data analysis, research methodology and participant must have solid writing skills.
Based on data collected for this project and/or secondary data on other telehealth programs, the recruited REU participant will assist Dr. Su in analyzing the cost effectiveness of telehealth programs and reviewing practices and policies that facilitate telehealth services in the U.S.Read more about this project

Patricia Wonch Hill, Ph.D. Sociology

Impact of Social Networks on Science Identity Formation in Adolescents
Prerequisistes: This project requires knowledge of basic research methodology, familiarity with Excel and basic statistics.
The REU participant will help with basic analyses of social network data to understand how adolescent network ties influence science identity over time. In addition, the participant will help further develop measures of science identity by analyzing data from in a non-random sample of children and their caregivers at a science festival.Read more about this project