UIC 2010 Seed Grant funds will be used to support Center-related activities that together will develop the necessary infrastructure to promote and support ongoing interdisciplinary work in the area of violence. In addition we aim to go beyond our current membership to bring together practitioners, policy makers, and other UIC researchers dedicated to preventing violence in Chicago and beyond. By collaborating with community partners, the relevance and immediate impact of the Center’s research will be greatly enhanced.
What The Center Brings To UIC:
Sharing resources and expertise between disciplines, sharing datasets, sharing ideas, developing interdisciplinary seminars and coursework will greatly enhance our contributions to the scientific community, improve and expand our usefulness to community partners and practitioners, and ultimately make us even more attractive to local, state, and federal funders. Second, by coming together as a group and joining with community partners and practitioners, we will be more likely to develop creative solutions useful to practitioners working on the front lines to deal with violence, because they will be informed by a broader range of experience and expertise than are typically available in the single researcher-practitioner collaborations that more typically characterize the field. Third, funders are increasingly attuned to the need for multi-level interventions to effectively attack social problems such as violence.
The center has a longstanding tradition of involvement with the agencies and institutions providing services and sanctions to the victims and perpetrators of violence, and has been instrumental in bringing these agencies and institutions into the university to help educate our students about violence prevention “on the ground.” The interdisciplinary nature of our center will also greatly increase the links available for individual researchers who have their own community laboratories, but who will now also benefit from the community laboratories of their colleagues.
Our Plan of Action
The UIC Center for Research on Violence is being proposed to better understand and address the problems that violence creates for individuals, families, and communities. The proposed Center will explore violence from an ecological perspective, focusing on systems’ responses and community factors relevant to the maintenance and prevention of violence. This perspective is broad enough to encompass the different theoretical approaches currently used by Center members while also allowing for the broadening of perspectives. To this end, the mission of Center will be to create a truly collaborative environment, which promotes the interdisciplinary generation, diffusion, and utilization of knowledge in the study and prevention of violence. In pursuing its mission, the Center will undertake several projects that together will create an infrastructure to promote the kinds of interdisciplinary investigations that are needed to have an impact upon the fields of criminal justice, social work, psychology, public health, occupational therapy, African-American studies, gender studies, healthcare, etc. as they relate to violence and its prevention.