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.
2023-24 Dr. Tara Smith, a Professor in the College of Public Health
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.