In 2001, the Center for Community Research was established at DePaul University to provide permanent, dedicated space for externally funded research projects and to house research projects of colleagues associated with our work from Psychology and related disciplines.
The Center for Community Research is a setting where applied researchers can have an infrastructure to pursue their research. Center staff actively bring research grants into the Center for Community Research of an applied nature, emphasizing the partnerships between community-based organizations and university researchers. Service is a critical component of this work, as the grants involve helping solve pressing social, urban problems in the Chicago metropolitan area. Finally, teaching is a critical part of this center, as undergraduate and graduate students have an opportunity to be involved in learning skills and getting credit in a prestigious research-based setting. These students have a mentoring relationship with the research members, and this type of more intensive supervision and instruction gives these students an advantage when seeking admission to graduate training programs or obtaining employment.
Currently we work on better understanding dynamic social networks among Oxford House recovery homes, the etiology of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) among college students, as well as ME and CFS pediatric epidemiology, and Violence Prevention among 9th grade students in the Chicago Public Schools. We believe that this research is a service to DePaul University and the Psychology Department, as our grant activity brings in considerable resources to the university and helps support graduate students. In addition, there are many undergraduate volunteers for these projects, and frequently we are able to hire several of these students to become research assistants, which prepares them for future graduate studies.