NRT Community-Engaged Design Projects

NRT trainees work in multidisciplinary teams with community stakeholders to solve challenges related to disability as part of the PROV 801 and 802 course sequence.

A core element of the CASBBI NRT experience is a year-long community-engaged design project. These projects challenge the traditional hierarchies between researchers and participants by engaging community stakeholders as full participants in the research process. Multidisciplinary teams of NRT trainees are immersed in physical and virtual community settings. The NRT trainees work with community stakeholders to identify challenges and needs within a community, formulate a research question, and engage in participatory design to develop and test ecologically-valid solutions. Trainees complete these projects as part of their NRT required coursework (total of 6 credit hours, designed to count toward a trainee’s degree program credit requirements):

  • PROV 801 – Community-engaged Interdisciplinary Methods I (3 credits), PROV 801 Syllabus Fall 2020
  • PROV 802 – Community-engaged Interdisciplinary Methods II (3 credits)


Current Projects: 2020-2021 NRT Cohort

Project 1: Investigating the increase in drug overdose deaths that are being reported during the COVID-19 pandemic and identifying promising mitigating strategies

Team MemberDegree ProgramDiscipline
Acharya, AngeelaPhDComputer Science
Bates, RebeccaPhDNursing
Izquierdo, AlyssaPhDPsychology: Clinical
Gonçalves, StefaniePhDPsychology: Clinical

Project 2: Investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on supportive services for students with disabilities and evaluating effective adaptations to service delivery

Team MemberDegree ProgramDiscipline
Nelson, JillianPhDPsychology: Clinical
Faisal, FahimPhDComputer Science
Owen, LindsayPhDEducational Psychology/Special Education
Spinelli, LilyMASocial Work

Project 3: Evaluating the effectiveness and accessibility of current therapies for movement disorders, with a focus on tele-therapy and outcome measurements for Parkinson’s Disease

Team MemberDegree ProgramDiscipline
Patwardhan, ShriniwasPhDBioengineering
Gladhill, KeriPhDPsychology: Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience
Shaffer, LindsayPhDPsychology: Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience