Saint Louis University

The Center through its annual survey of agencies has identified a variety of research needs in the community. They are listed below via four categories of research types:

  • Best Practices/Literature Review
  • Exploratory Research (including actual interventions and observational studies)
  • Needs Assessment
  • Program Evaluation

Additionally, under each category, the research area is identified (Environment, Health, Poverty/Justice and Youth), along with the name of the organization followed by a brief description of the research request.  You can click on each organization to bring up their online profile to learn more about them, obtain contact information, etc.


Best Practices/Literature Review

  • HEALTH - Nurses for Newborns: Literature review on baby mortality rates, health issues, and child abuse in the St. Louis area, including data trends.
  • POVERTY/JUSTICE - Family Resource Center: Determining the ROI on our efforts to break the cycle of chronic child abuse. Research on the cost of chid abuse in Missouri, and the return to the State and its citizens for the investment in social services at Family Resource Center.
  • YOUTH - Youth Learning Center: We are looking to improve adherence to evidence-based practices to improve student academic outcomes. Research related to tutoring and teaching math/reading in an out-of-school time environment would be welcome.
  • YOUTH - Riverview/West Florissant Development Corporation:  RWFDC has a community center for youth, less than 1 year old. We have identified needs of area youth - many are educational, but most are personal - living conditions, lack of daily needs such as food, personal care items, need for counseling etc. Research project will be geared toward identifying resources and learning best practices on how to provide for these needs.

Exploratory Research

  • ENVIRONMENT/JUSTICE - Gateway Greening: Support Gateway Greening program staff and the St. Louis Alliance for Re-entry (STAR) Research Committee. The main role on the STAR Research committee is to produce white papers on various re-entry topics, educating the public and service providers on best practices, new studies, where to find resources, etc. The 2014 topic is housing for ex-offenders..
  • ENVIRONMENT - Sierra Club: Research interests include utilizing GIS to examine health impacts from coal pollution in St. Louis, conducting public health and epidemiological research into the health impacts from coal in the St. Louis area, and testing of pollutants on structures within 1 mile radius of St. Louis area coal plants to look for heavy metal contamination.  Also interested in an analysis of long term cost to upgrade aging energy infrastructure to comply with new health regulations and delayed investments in cleaner energy vs. cost to invest in cleaner energy options in the near future.
  • POVERTY/JUSTICE - Bilingual International Assistant Services: Research on the fairness of English language exemption standard to refugees as compared with immigrants when testing for citizenship. Assessment of negative consequences of lack of qualified federal-paid interpreters.
  • POVERTY/JUSTICE - Midtown Catholic Charities: Assessment of low income housing development in the neighborhood and the effects of gentrification.
  • POVERTY/JUSTICE - The Bridge Homeless Outreach: The collection of demographic survey data from our homeless guests and also conducting a qualitative study on the relationship between homeless guests and our surrounding neighbors (i.e. residents/ business persons).  Also interested in researching the effects of homelessness on individuals and/or the effects of homelessness on entire communities.

Needs Assessment
  • HEALTH - WITS, Inc.: We are looking to find out if there is a need for patients who have trouble adhering to their medical regimen or therapy to have alternative ways for accomplishing their goal through virtual gaming types of devices and techniques.
  • POVERTY/JUSTICE - Kingdom House: Needs assessment for families living in the Kingdom House neighborhood, in order to determine how best to use land recently acquired by Kingdom House to best benefit the neighborhood. Quantitative survey, qualitative interviews, etc.
  • POVERTY/JUSTICE - Southside Catholic Charities: Southside's mental health department would like to conduct a needs assessment regarding the mental health needs of Latino youth and their immigrant families in St. Charles County. The researchers would need to engage community stakeholders, social service agencies, churches, etc. to survey both providers and community members regarding the need for bilingual, culturally competent mental health services.

Program Evaluation

  • ENVIRONMENT/YOUTH - Butterfly House: Evaluating the impact of our environmental education programs on local students.
  • ENVIRONMENT/YOUTH - Gateway Greening: Program evaluation assistance with showing the impact of our youth garden intensive direct service. This would involve working with Gateway Greening to develop an appropriate evaluation tool, assisting with data collection (for both targeted and control sites) and assisting with data analysis.
  • HEALTH - OASIS Institute: OASIS provided evidence-based health programs locally and nationally. Thus, we are always trying to improve our programs and report the outcomes of our programs. One such need is conducting evaluation to contribute to our research base.
  • POVERTY/JUSTICE - Family Resource Center: Research to determine the long-term outcomes of our programs. Contacting and interviewing past clients to determine the effectiveness of the services we have provided them, especially clients who were young children when the received services, and may be adults or young adults now.
  • POVERTY/JUSTICE - Kingdom House: Family Support Services. Research to determine the long-term outcomes of our programs. Contacting and interviewing past clients to determine the effectiveness of the services we have provided them.
  • YOUTH - City Garden Montessori School: Analyzing data to determine if we are closing the achievement gap, increasing academic achievement outcomes for the 63110 zip code, assessing emotional, affective needs of our children, providing support around transportation and health issues.
  • YOUTH - Gene Slay's Boys' Club: Provide outside evaluation of our evidence-based After-School and Summer Camp programs.
  • YOUTH - North Campus: Evaluation of after-school tutoring program to measure effectiveness, outcomes, etc.
  • YOUTH - St. Louis ArtWorks: Do youth participants in our program attend and successfully complete college? Do they choose art as a college major or profession? Do they receive employment training/work readiness skills that appropriately prepare them for the 21st century work place? Does participation in our 6-week intensive summer program have lasting impact (versus our Creative Futures program;year round, focuses on apprentices from low income-what merit is there to expanding either or both programs)? Are we asking the right questions regarding fiscal literacy-bank accounts, savings behavior, credit awareness?
  • YOUTH - The Soulard School: Evaluating how our students are achieving our mission (to build a new style of leader that embodies community involvement and perspective taking to incorporate multiple perspectives) as they move through grade levels.