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Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program

SERVES:

  1. Community and neighborhood organizations in Minneapolis and St. Paul
  2. Community organizations and government agencies in Twin-Cities metro area suburbs

GOALS:

Communities in the Twin Cities are grappling with interconnected challenges and at the same time face persistent disparities. The Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program (Nelson Program) is a unique opportunity for community organizations to engage with the University to co-create approaches that address these public problems. The Nelson program provides community organizations and suburban government agencies with community-driven, applied student-based research and technical assistance and creates opportunities for shared understanding and action based on the results.

The Nelson Program:

  • Strengthens practice of community and neighborhood-based organizations helping them build capacity to achieve their mission.
  • Provides students with opportunities to apply their research and technical skills to real world community challenges and gain experience that provides them value as future leaders.
  • Gives priority to communities of color and disadvantaged communities
  • Communicates the meaning of research results to stakeholders
  • Facilitates discussion and implementation of research findings
  • Supports place-based community-university partnerships
  • Uses research and staff commitment to contribute to the direction of broader public policy discussions

PROGRAM: The Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program, named in honor of its founding director, builds partnerships between community-based organizations and suburban government agencies and local colleges and universities. The research and technical needs of organizations are matched with student research assistants to carry out community-defined and guided projects. The Nelson Program provides approximately 200 hours of student time to work on a project in the spring and fall semesters, or 260 hours during the summer.

The Nelson Program is made up of a consortium of ten metro-area colleges and universities. Student researchers from multiple institutions enable community organizations to access a pool of resources and expertise from a variety of departments, expanding research possibilities and creating valuable connections to area institutions, students, and faculty.

The Nelson Program is supported, in part, by a grant from The McKnight Foundation.

APPLICATIONS: Applications are accepted three times a year. Visit the How to Apply for Assistance  page for deadlines and application information. Financial contributions from organizations selected for assistance are important to leveraging our resources to serve more projects, and are always appreciated.

STUDENT JOBS: Student job opportunities available through the Nelson Program are listed on the Nelson Program Assistantships page. To apply for a position, follow the instructions in the job posting for that position.

Staff: 
Jeff Corn Community Programs Assistant 612-625-0744
Neeraj Mehta Director, Community-Based Research 612-624-8988