Projects for Societal Impact

Applications Open Fall 2024

Utilizing the summer months (June, July, and August), UT faculty and students (undergraduate and graduate) from any UT college or school will partner to work on projects funded by MCSI. Grants will be awarded annually to teams made up of faculty and students (shared equally) and may include financial support for community partners, when needed, to enable their full participation in the projects.

The goal is to allow faculty and students to engage in a sustained, streamlined effort to conduct original research, apply previous research findings in real-world settings, and/or focus on replication, implementation, or dissemination of findings while testing innovative and impactful ideas with community partners. Community partners will benefit from UT resources being utilized in service to common interests and efforts.

Youth mental ill-health is a serious public health crisis. In this project, Dr. Choi and the members of the Manor Wellness Alliance will implement three, day-long mental health leadership boot camps for a total of 24 parent-youth dyads to increase mental health literacy, reduce stigma, and increase mental health help-seeking intentions; to train the participants in abbreviated Behavioral Activation; and to build the participants’ capacity to become community mental health advocates

This project, based at the Addiction Research Institute and in partnership with the French Red Cross Chapter in Brittany, France, will develop a global coalition of academic and community partners to strengthen national capacities to respond to the overdose and drug crisis. The goal is to facilitate data-driven community overdose response efforts and to use this forum for rapid knowledge exchange to inform global drug policy supporting evidence-based overdose prevention strategies.

This project seeks to improve the sustainability of substance use recovery housing in Texas. We will work with the CLEAN Cause Foundation to identify recovery home providers and collect data regarding their business models, financial management practices, and revenue streams to inform the development of innovative business models.

This project will operate as a pilot that will serve as a foundation for a large-scale field evaluation of a mental health program implemented in Ecatepec, Mexico by our partner NGO, Redes Sociales para el Desarrollo (REDDES). We will investigate whether a low-cost, scalable mental health program improves parental well-being and benefits children’s educational and socio-emotional outcomes. 

This project will operate as a pilot that will create an intervention that will provide practitioners and clinicians with evidence-based methods for working with Autistic Adults and aims to contribute to the needed, yet sparse research of evidence-based behavioral health interventions for this population. Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) modified and adapted for this population can aid in creating standardized approaches increasing the quality of Care, knowledge in the field, and filling a demand for more behavior health clinicians that can provide services to adults with IDDs.

In Austin, Travis County, 49% of homeless individuals seeking housing assistance report a history in foster care which indicates an urgent need to develop a deeper understanding of youth needs and experiences, identify opportunities for programmatic and policy changes, and increase coordination between homelessness response, child welfare, and other systems.  

The Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing will partner with ECHO, the lead agency in the Austin/Travis County Homelessness Response System, and Change 1, an Austin-based organization that provides support for youth aging out of foster care, to conduct a community-participatory research study that will explore access to services, systems collaboration, and opportunities for effective prevention and intervention.

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