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2022 Disability Research Mentorship Program for Black Graduate Students

CQL created the Disability Research Mentorship Program for Black Graduate Students in recognition that academic/research job candidates are judged on their history of publications and presentations, yet, systemic racism impacts who gets funding and research opportunities. For this reason, CQL’s research Mentorship Program aims to provide Black students with opportunities to build up their resumes with research publications.

This Mentorship Program provides students with access to data and helps students develop a peer-review journal article using this data. Our hope is that by the end of the Mentorship Program students will have an accepted/in-press journal article (sole or first author) which they can add to their CV. Students will also have an opportunity to present their work if they wish to do so.

Available Data

Students in the Mentorship Program will be able to choose from one of three datasets to formulate and explore their research questions: Personal Outcome Measures® (POM) quality of life data; Medicaid HCBS IDD waiver data; or COVID-19 pandemic impact data.

Personal Outcome Measures® Quality of Life Data

The POM is a person-centered quality of life tool, exploring the presence, importance, and achievement of outcomes, along with the supports that help people achieve those outcomes (please see the POM manual). Our POM data (quantitative), which encompasses interviews from thousands of people with disabilities, includes approximately 400 variables, comprising of demographic data (p. 85 of manual) and quality of life areas, including:

  • Safety
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Best possible health
  • Continuity and security
  • Rights
  • Treated fairly (due process)
  • Respect
  • Using environments
  • Living in integrated environments
  • Interacting with other members of the community
  • Participating in the life of the community
  • Natural support networks
  • Friends
  • Intimate relationships
  • Deciding when to share personal information
  • Social roles
  • Choosing where and with whom to live
  • Choosing where they work
  • Choosing services
  • Choosing personal goals
  • Realizing personal goals

Medicaid HCBS IDD Waiver Data

Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to live in their homes and communities, rather than institutions. The HCBS data examines service provision and funding for people with IDD in fiscal year 2021. Students can pick a service category/topic (includes qualitative and quantitative data) to explore in depth to examine how that type of service was provided to people with IDD. Topics include:

  • Residential supports
  • Day programs/habilitation
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech language therapy
  • Dietician services
  • Behavior services/therapy
  • Nursing and home health
  • Crisis services
  • Dental
  • Supported employment
  • Prevocational services
  • Respite
  • Transportation
  • Community transition supports
  • Specialized medical equipment and assistive technology
  • Participant/self direction
  • Paying family to provide care

COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Data

During the Pandemic, the United States Census Bureau has conducted the Household Pulse survey to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people and households across the country; data (quantitative) collection is ongoing. Your research can explore people with disabilities’ pandemic experiences in one of the following areas:

  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Financial hardship
  • Childcare impact
  • Housing insecurity
  • Child Tax Credit use
  • Food insecurity
  • Telehealth
  • Energy insecurity
  • Changes to post-secondary education plans

Mentorship Program Process

As part of this Mentorship Program, students will receive guidance from CQL’s Director of Research, Carli Friedman, PhD, about conducting research for publication and navigating the peer-review process. This includes refining research topics, conducting the analysis, structuring and writing the journal article, submitting the article for peer-review, and responding to feedback from peer-reviewers. If applicable, we are also happy to sign off on independent study hours for your graduate program.

This Mentorship Program is designed to support Black graduate students to build up their CV, not increase their burden. As such, the length of the mentorship program is flexible. While we plan to offer ongoing support and estimate the Program will last about a year, we will work with the selected students to determine the best timeline for them given their workload and other responsibilities.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until this year’s mentorship student/s have been selected. We will begin reviewing applications at the end of May 2022.

  • Applicants must be a Black graduate student in the United States studying disability.
  • Black graduate students with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Background in quantitative research or a history of peer-reviewed publications is not required.
    • If you don’t have a quantitative background, we will co-analyze and co-write the findings with you.
  • Applications will be judged on the proposed research project, its feasibility, and its relevance to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.
    • Projects must be feasible with the available data. If you have questions about the data, or would like to discuss your research idea to see if it is feasible prior to applying please contact CQL’s Director of Research Carli Friedman.
  • The application asks:
    • Please tell us a little about what you are studying in grad school and what your academic interests are, including how they relate to people with disabilities.
    • What do you hope to do after you graduate?
    • Which dataset do you want to use?
    • What in particular would you like to explore with the CQL dataset (e.g., research idea)?
    • Why is your research idea for this mentorship program important?
    • CV/Resume

Please direct questions to Carli Friedman.