REU: Social Network Analysis for Solving Minority Health Disparities

Join us in essential, interdisciplinary research to help eliminate health disparities among underserved populations.
Pending funding approval

For information contact

Kim Gocchi Carrasco
MHD Program Coordinator
402-472-5976
kstarlin2@unl.edu

Application Dates

Nov 15 2017 App opens
February 1 Priority deadline
March 1 App closes
April 1 Decisions complete

Program Dates

June 3 2018 Arrival day
June 4 Program begins
August 7 Program ends
August 8 Departure day

Who should apply


Related fields

  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Communication Studies
  • Public Health
  • Political Sciences
  • Anthropology
  • Child, Youth, and Family Studies
  • Educational Psychology
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Nutrition

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

Eligibility

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 REU, which 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.

This project takes place under support of a Summer REU grant from the National Science Foundation for research in social network analysis (SNA) and minority health. As part of that program, participating students will learn basic approaches to network science/SNA in order to employ these skills where possible in their summer research projects. SNA instruction will take place during a 2-week intensive class led by Kirk Dombrowski (Professor of Sociology, UNL), scheduled for the first two weeks of the program. Training will be used to enrich the students experience in their partner laboratories during the subsequent 8 weeks. The primary student outcome of this part of the summer research experience will be an introductory facility in social network terminology, visualization, and exploration.

2017 Minority Health Disparities REU students.
2017 Minority Health Disparities REU students.

Participating students work with 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.

Benefits

  • Competitive stipend: $5,000
  • Suite-style 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

Learn more about academic and financial benefits.

Events

  • 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

Mentors and Projects

Network Risk of HIV and HCV Infection in Rural Puerto Rico

This project investigates eight social network domains of the residents of the Northern community of Nain, Labrador. Socio-demographic and network data were collected between January and June, 2010 from interviews with 330 adult residents. The emphasis of this project will be on the use of network descriptive techniques and statistical analysis to study the relationships between these network domains. A community emerges from the social relationships that bind its members to one another. These relationships are constructed and maintained through specific actions that constitute network domains. Family ties are an example of one network domain. 

Informal Networks in a Labrador Inuit Community

This project investigates eight social network domains of the residents of the Northern community of Nain, Labrador. Socio-demographic and network data were collected between January and June, 2010 from interviews with 330 adult residents. The emphasis of this project will be on the use of network descriptive techniques and statistical analysis to study the relationships between these network domains. A community emerges from the social relationships that bind its members to one another. These relationships are constructed and maintained through specific actions that constitute network domains. Family ties are an example of one network domain. 

Preventing American Indian/Alaskan Indian Suicide

This project is aimed at addressing suicide risks among Alaska Native youth through a community-based participatory research (CBPR) prevention program – Promoting Community Conversations about Research to end Suicide (PC CARES). Data were collected in two villages of northern Alaska between 2015 and 2016. A total of 300 social network interviews were conducted using an in-person tablet interview. Data were collected using the Social Network Analysis through Perceptual Tomography (SNAPT) software developed by the research team here at UNL. Data includes traditional social network data of self-reported relationships, and also includes perceptual networks for different helping networks. The combination of this unique data collection effort and non-traditional perceptual networks has the potential to improve social network methodologies and also provides rich data to explore nuance of helping networks and dependency structures perceived by the community members for intervention and prevention purposes.