Research Funding and Awards

Generating insight and fostering change.

A woman, Dr. Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo stands behind a podium speaking into a microphone.
Dr. Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, 2020 Seed Grant recipient, speaks at the Chez Veterans Center’s Annual Veterans Day Celebration, November, 2019.

MSKC Seed Grant Program

The MSKC Seed Grant Program provides research grant awards to foster development of innovative research and generate sustainable partnerships with Military/Veteran communities. UIUC researchers are eligible to apply. The request for proposals for the MSKC Seed Grant Program is available each spring. Due to Covid-19, the program is currently on hold and will resume in 2022.

2020-2021 Awards

Study TitlePrincipal InvestigatorCommunity Partner(s)Learn More
Identifying changing responsibilities and support needs of aging caregivers of veterans with Traumatic Brain InjurySandraluz Lara-CinisomoCaregiver Advisory for Research Engagement; RAND CorporationView study recruitment flier
Examining the intersection between cannabis, opioids, and benzodiazepine use by older veterans in IllinoisJulie Bobitt; Hyojang KangVeterans for Medical Cannabis Access; Vets Prevail View talk
Investigating the neurochemical nature of tinnitus and hearing loss using Magnetic Resonance SpectroscopyFatima Husain View study recruitment flier
View talk
Examining the Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Veterans Needs for Legal ServicesYulanda CurtisIllinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network 

2019-2020 Awards

Study TitlePrincipal InvestigatorCommunity Partner(s)Learn More
Developing and testing a family service navigator program for newly civilian families of children with developmental disabilitiesMeghan BurkeMilitary Families Learning Network; The Autism Program; Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center View talk
Healing in the aftermath of war: Evaluating the REBOOT Combat Recovery ProgramLeanne KnoblochREBOOT Combat Recovery ProgramView talk
Partnering with military families via telepractice: Empowering caregivers and enhancing communication skills of children with AutismHedda Meadan-KaplanskyMilitary Families Learning Network View talk
MR Elastography (MRE) as a biomarker for Post-Traumatic Epilepsy (PTE)Graham Huesmann; Aaron AndersonCarle Foundation HospitalView study recruitment flier
View talk

Student Research Award

Sponsored in part by the Illini Veterans at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (Student Veterans of America chapter) and facilitated through the Chez Veterans Center’s MSKC, the Illini Veterans & Chez Veterans Center Student Research Award is intended to recognize the efforts of students at UIUC who are either 1) student-veterans conducting any type of research or 2) non-veteran students conducting research with military/veteran (M/V) populations. The request for applications is announced each spring.

2021 Awardees

Liz Spurlock is a senior double majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Psychology. Her interest in Veteran research stems from her father, who retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. Liz says that she is “honored to be a part of research initiatives that serve to cultivate productive, long-lasting relationships with the Veteran community, approach pervasive Veteran issues like traumatic brain through an interdisciplinary lens, and establish a positive, engaging environment for Veterans, researchers, and other stakeholders to collaborate and come to creative solutions.”

Amy Wahlmeier is an Air Force Veteran and a current Ph.D. student in Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on developing science and technology that can be used to support military operations. Amy hopes to “further research into high valent palladium chemistry to enhance catalysis for carbon-carbon bond and carbon-heteroatom bond formation. This will help promote more efficient renewable energy sources for US military needs in the future.”

2020 Awardees

Headshot of Paul Saban.

Paul Saban is a Marine Veteran and a senior in the School of Social Work. In his work, Paul draws on his personal experiences as a Marine to shine light into the masculine nature of the military institution and Veteran identity. Paul says, “it is my intention that my research can perhaps elucidate some of the underpinnings of masculinity’s more confounding behaviors and unconscionable acts such as aversion to treatment and help seeking, high-risk behaviors, domestic violence, and sexual assault and harassment.

Headshot of Sarah Ann Clark.

Sarah Ann Clark is an Air Force Veteran, current PhD student in Linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UIUC, and a military sociolinguist and research assistant at the US Army Corps Engineer Research Development Center’s Construction and Engineer Research Laboratory. Sarah’s research focuses on several avenues of sociolinguistic analysis of military and veteran discourse. About her work, Sarah says, “As an Air Force veteran, my military and veteran experiences are critical to understanding military social norms and veteran identity processes as I engage with critical discourse analysis and critical narrative analysis to examine themes of power, ideology and discursive influences on military and veteran identity.