Get involved in research

Extension Health Research can help you get involved in more research opportunities. Whether you are an MSU Extension staff member, a national Cooperative Extension colleague, a university researcher or community group or member.

Hear from others working with Extension Health Research 


Carol Janney, PhD, Community Health Researcher, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Early in 2016, I attended the first Speed Meeting facilitated by MSU Extension. At that time, a presentation was given by Dr. Erica Tobe, Extension Specialist, highlighting the work of the financial and homeownership education team. During the presentation, Dr. Tobe outlined the team's mission and goal for improving financial literacy for Michigan families. I reached out to Dr. Tobe to discuss future programmatic and research opportunities pertaining to mental health and financial education/coaching due to my observation in clinical and community settings that finances are often a stressor that trigger mental health episodes and/or is a barrier to resources, recovery and/or stability. Since our initial meeting, I have been privileged to work with MSU Extension staff to support the financial needs of users of mental health services. Over 200 human service professionals completed a survey assessing the perceived financial needs of users of mental health services after attending a MSU Extension financial education train the trainer workshop between June and September 2016. These findings will be presented at the American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In total, this work has created a strong partnership between Michigan State University Extension and the College of Human Medicine and has allowed both entities to align with the land grant university mission.


Roxane Raffin Chan, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University College of Nursing

Early in 2016, a colleague of mine attended the first Speed Meeting facilitated by MSU Extension. Part of the information provided was about a program MSU Extension provides in mindfulness. My colleague passed my contact information on to MSU Extension staff who, in turn, set up a meeting with me. I was delighted to learn more about the programs provided and excited to explore opportunities for collaborative research. In the past year, I have been privileged to work with Michigan State Extension educators and faculty from the school of social work to submit a grant outlining a new intervention to coordinate with the PATH program. When funded, this intervention will use mindfulness and self-compassion skills to improve the self-care capacity of people with chronic disease. It is our goal that the Compassionate PATH program will not only be scalable across the state, but will eventually be provided in the community by persons with chronic disease. This work has created a strong partnership between Michigan State University Extension, Michigan State University College of Nursing and Michigan State University School of Social Work.

Are You Research Ready?

In 2015, the Extension Health Research team designed, implemented and evaluated a 5-hour workshop called “Are You Research Ready”. This professional development opportunity prepares Extension staff to participate in community-based human health research with university faculty. The training covers steps of the research process, responsible conduct of research and how to communicate with researchers for grant inclusion. The workshop includes activities and facilitates discussions related to conducting community-based research with scholarship. After participating in the workshop, Extension educators indicated they had a better understanding of the research process from beginning to end, and because of this workshop they will explore future human health research opportunities. Attendees reported gaining a self-assessment of research readiness as an educator, and now feel confident to position themselves for inclusion in research grants. Only one-third of participants had ever utilized an IRB-process for research prior to the workshop. As a result, next steps for many attendees included getting ready for projects by passing the required educational modules to obtain current IRB (institutional review board) certification.


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