Primary Menu

Education, Events, Publication

Funding & Recognition

REACH U2- Exploratory Design Approaches for Health Equity Research

Summer 2024

Project Background

Multimodal research involves collecting different types of data using one or more method. In bio-behavioral studies this approach can combine multiple modalities such as behavioral questionnaires, biological data, and laboratory tasks such as eye tracking. In qualitative methods, this may include collecting verbal and nonverbal forms of information from participants. The student involved in this project will learn about multimodal research design for exploratory research within the field of health equity.


Student Role

Students will have the opportunity to work with this data at the stage of data cleaning and analysis. Data will be made available to the student from one of three projects that employs these methods:

1) a qualitative study of very low nicotine content cigarettes among people with depression and anxiety disorders who smoke,

2) an online web panel survey of smokers and non-smokers from a racially and ethnically diverse background, or

3) a statewide longitudinal observational dataset.

Student Learning Outcomes and Benefits

This project is designed to give an undergraduate REACH U2 scholar hands-on experience with the phases of conducting public health research. Dr. DeAtley will work with her mentee to determine the skills and data analysis priorities they would like to develop during their research scholar experience. Possible avenues could include but are not limited to, literature review, hypothesis or research question generation, data cleaning, descriptive data analysis or predictive modeling, scientific writing and data visualization. Statistical or qualitative programming experience is not required but some background knowledge is an asset. This research experience is designed to provide introductory exposure to qualitative and quantitative research that was collected to answer exploratory research questions with a health equity focus. At the conclusion of this experience the REACH U2 scholar will be able to demonstrate how they have managed, cleaned, analyzed and synthesized qualitative or quantitative data which will be a valuable skillset for individuals interested in pursuing higher education in the bio-medical or public health sciences.

Teresa "Tess" DeAtley

Assistant Professor
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine

I believe that mentoring is an essential aspect of teaching and students can gain invaluable experience by doing research and engaging
with current day challenges in public health. Research mentorship is often overlooked at the undergraduate level, and it is my goal to provide hands-on training doing public health research as a mentor in this program. It is my goal to facilitate ways a REACH U2 scholar can think about, conduct and analyze qualitative and quantitative data within a larger socio-political context by thinking about ways they can disseminate their work. It is my hope that in addition to developing hard skills for the REACH U2 scholar, I will also work with them to help them develop their own distinct research interests and explore ways they can pursue that moving forward either professionally or through higher education. At the start of the summer, I will work with the scholar to develop a detailed training plan and 6meline based on the skills and goals the student is interested in developing. I will ensure that I am available to meet with the REACH U2 scholar weekly or more, as needed, to ensure that the most is made of their research experience. I will provide training resources for programming packages where relevant. I will also review research outputs and provide feedback (on results, a poster or abstract) and discuss questions as they arise.


To learn more about REACH U2, please visit here!