Fellow Program

What is the HCRI Research Fellow Program?

The Healthy Communities Research Institute research fellow program funds one fellow to convene an interdisciplinary team of researchers from within and/or outside of Kent State University who will investigate a specific issue related to community health. The team is expected to create and execute a plan to secure external grant funds to support their research. Applications from Non-Tenure Track-Research or Tenure Track faculty that are junior, mid-career or senior scholars from all disciplines and Kent State campuses are encouraged to apply.  The fellowship runs from July through June. Applications are due by March 15 each year.


  • 2024-25 Dr. Hossein Mirinejad, Assistant Professor, College of Aeronautics and Engineering
  • 2023-24 Dr. Tara Smith, Professor, College of Public Health


Dr. Hossein Mirinejad, 2024-2025 Fellow

This initiative aims to reduce health disparities in critical care by enabling a novel, data-efficient autonomy framework for infusion therapy, specifically targeting ethnic minority patient groups. Infusion therapy is critical for treating life-threatening conditions such as hemorrhagic shock, septic shock, and cardiac arrest. Our objective is to establish a robust, data-efficient autonomous system for managing infusion treatments that prioritizes the needs of ethnic minority groups. By integrating innovative concepts from machine learning, control systems, probabilistic modeling, and causal inference, our research seeks to identify optimal infusion dosages for treating circulatory shock, focusing on data from minority groups rather than the general clinical population.

Dr. Tara Smith, 2023-24 Fellow

Vaccine hesitancy was a critical global issue before the COVID-19 pandemic. It has only been exacerbated as the pandemic has polarized vaccine uptake in the US and delayed it in many low-income countries. Working with hesitant or vaccine-questioning parents is vital because of the pandemic's direct effects and because the pandemic has delayed many essential childhood vaccinations in the general population. As parents work to get their children caught up, some have begun to question the necessity of such vaccines, even among parents that generally would not do so. This project will develop a program to reach out to such parents and measure the effectiveness of the planned intervention. More broadly, it will bring together a network of investigators into a KSU vaccine hesitancy consortium to facilitate future collaboration and address vaccine hesitancy locally and state-wide.    

For more information, please visit www.kent.edu/hcri or contact Jeff Hallam at hcri@kent.edu.