Research Clusters

The University of Michigan-Flint’s research clusters are an interdisciplinary effort to mobilize the shared strengths of existing academic departments, schools and colleges, together with centers and institutes, to build collaboration in areas of strategic importance for the campus and the region. The clusters are faculty-driven, and connect researchers with expertise in various disciplines to foster the sharing of ideas, scholarly advancement, and inclusivity. Faculty leads have been identified around four themes. Support for the clusters and their activities is provided by the Chancellor’s Office in coordination with ORED and the cluster leadership.  Each cluster has developed and will continue to actively develop plans (meetings, seminars, invited speakers, new methods training/development, proposal writing efforts, etc) for connecting researchers with each other, around big challenges, as well as with community and industry partners, and funding agencies.

Arts & Culture Research Cluster

The Arts and Culture (A+C) Research Cluster was created out of a desire to bring researchers, students, regional cultural institutions, and community organizations together in collaborative partnership. A+C aims to bridge existing gaps in coordination and cultivate new and diverse audiences for the arts. Such a partnership can advance the intellectual and cultural vibrancy of Flint, Michigan, and make an impact on the national cultural landscape. The group will seek collaborative program funding and opportunities, share information and promote artistic and cultural collaborations, elevating the arts and culture of the city of Flint. Those with questions or with interest in joining this research cluster should contact group leader Ben Gaydos.

Center on Aging Research Cluster (CoARC)

The Center on Aging Research Cluster (CoARC) is a group of UM-Flint faculty, who, together with students and collaborators, are engaged in aging-focused research with the overarching goals of enhancing our understanding of physical, cognitive, psychological, and socio-economic problems and issues of older adults living in the local area of Flint, Genesee County, and beyond and proposing innovative and feasible solutions to aforementioned problems and issues. Those with questions or with interest in joining this research cluster should contact group leader Allon Goldberg.

Persistence and Mattering in Undergraduate Education (PMUE) Research Cluster

The Persistence and Mattering in Undergraduate Education (PMUE) Research Cluster will investigate how and why UM-Flint students persist in their undergraduate education and how they develop a sense of mattering in a university community. There is ample research that points to the importance of persistence and mattering (or belonging) in undergraduate student success, and the studies from the PMUE research cluster will advance the scholarship of teaching and learning around this theme. Using quantitative and qualitative data about our campus, our research will contribute to larger scholarly conversations about persistence and mattering for students at regional, urban institutions, especially those who are first-generation, from a minoritized population, or are transfer students. Those with questions or with interest in joining this research cluster should contact group leader Kazuko Hiramatsu.

Racial, Economic, & Environmental Justice Research Cluster

The Racial, Economic, & Environmental Justice (REEJ) Research Cluster will work with the newly established Urban Institute for Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice to examine racial, economic, and environmental inequalities, engage in transformative research, mobilize community-based efforts and encourage the design of practical social and economic solutions. REEJ’s central aim is coalition building, to remove barriers to success and uncover the ways in which the construct of race (and intersections of other identities with race) has led to cultural and structural disadvantage for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Those with questions or with interest in joining this research cluster should contact group leader Toko Oshio.

Urban Sustainability & Environmental Health Research Cluster

The Urban Sustainability & Environmental Health (USEH) Research Cluster will drive scientific research among UM-Flint researchers, practitioners, and students, and their domestic and international partners, on critical urban and environmental health issues, ranging from sustainable and connected communities, to public health policy and resilient ecosystems. USEH hopes to become a focal point for information exchange and cooperation among faculty, graduate students, practitioners, and community partners in order to foster applied research and engage policy issues to improve our understanding of the interfaces among urban-environmental-health systems, and, ultimately, produce usable evidence, resulting from scientific publications and grant-funded projects, policy-makers can use to enhance the health of urban and natural areas. Those with questions or with interest in joining this research cluster should contact group leader Greg Rybarczyk.