San Francisco Health Investigators

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 to Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Resource Type:
Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Citizen Science Programs, Community Outreach Programs
Youth/Teen (up to 17) | General Public | Scientists | Learning Researchers
Health and medicine
Access and Inclusion: 
University of California, San Francisco
Description or Abstract: 

San Francisco Health Investigators (SF HI), developed and led by the Science & Health Education Partnership at UC San Francisco, will use a community-based participatory research model to provide authentic research experiences for high school students, the majority from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences.

SF HI will:
1) Develop a community of high school Student Researchers who will conduct research into health issues in their communities, study how adolescents respond to health messages, create new health messages informed by this research, and study the broader impacts of the materials they develop.
2) Partner with educational researchers to research the effects of SF HI on the high school student participants and the impact of the materials on the broader community.
3) Disseminate those materials shown to have the greatest impact nationally.
4) Publish results on the public understanding and awareness of health issues in peer-reviewed journals and other forums to inform and advance the field of public health.

The SF HI model is designed to leverage students’ cultural and technological knowledge and their social capital in the role of Student Researchers as they study the awareness, knowledge and attitudes about current health issues in their communities. It will have a broad range of impacts. Over the course of the project, 100 urban public high school students will be immersed in research projects that have the potential to directly benefit the health of their communities. These Student Researchers will design health messages informed by their social, cultural, and community knowledge and by their research results. They will collectively survey more than 8,500 community members – their peers, neighbors, and attendees at public gatherings to assess the effectiveness of these materials. Student-developed materials will be distributed broadly via the web, high school and college wellness centers, the NIH SEPA community, and other networks – thus these materials have the potential to reach over 1.5 million adolescents and young adults over the life of the project.

Project Website:
Funding Program: 
Award Number: 
R25 OD020244

Team Members

Rebecca SmithRebecca SmithPrincipal Investigator
Katherine NielsenKatherine NielsenContact

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