What We Do

With collaboration at the heart of our work,
This is how we tackle resilience challenges. 

We take a “First Mile” research approach

Often research aims to take findings “the last mile” to apply knowledge where decision-makers or policymakers can use them. But our approach is focused on the First Mile. First Mile research starts with bringing together people addressing those challenges directly to identify which questions or problems to study. The approach provides a role for community partners to share needs and insights that ultimately drive  the research process. The process includes sharing data, resources, and lived experiences, which help discover the root challenges. First Mile research results help find real-world solutions, uncover missed gaps, and develop community resilience responses. 

COVID-19 Response

During this time, it is critical to strengthen the bridge between our community and the entire university. Together we can build greater capacity to adapt and boost community resilience across Arizona. Learn more about how we are mobilizing our strengths to better support our community, opportunities to get involved and read our full response statement. 

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Resilience Fellowships

A 12-month program with a focus on community transformation. The resilience fellowships brings together academic and community leaders to tackle resilience challenges. Fellows collect data, conduct research, and work together to solve problems. Example projects include:

  • A study on the impact of playground design on children’s heat exposure at a South Phoenix schoolyard.
  • A collection of training materials to facilitate university-nonprofit collaborations. 

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Data Exchange

A robust digital site where we collect and share data. This high impact project is a resource that includes existing data from partner organizations along with newly liberated data from KER research. Robust data set examples:

  • Local map of food banks
  • Heat deaths and utility assistance in Maricopa county
  • Arizona primary care areas 

Explore data