EVCP Provides Funding to Bolster SocPop Research Collaborations

This fall, 16 PhD students in UCSF’s social and population science (SocPop) PhD programs were named EVCP SocPop Fellows as part of an effort to promote collaborations in a wide range of research areas.

The fellows are recipients of funds newly designated by The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP) and the Graduate Division Dean’s Office to seed new Graduate Student Researcher positions for SocPop PhD students. This $300K funding allocation is designed to harness the expertise and skills of SocPop PhD students and to promote collaborations that lead to tangible deliverables in the short-term and have potential to catalyze longer-term collaborations beyond 2023-24.

At the fellowship launch meeting in November, Graduate Dean Nicquet Blake shared that the origin of the fellowship is “a story of advocacy and of presence”: advocacy on the part of SocPop faculty members in one of her earliest meetings with them, and the presence of SocPop students in the Dean’s Office through the Rosenberg-Hill Fellowship. “When we saw how [the Rosenberg-Hill fellows] positively impacted our thinking and how we use data to inform our decision making, it made supporting this initiative a pretty easy decision for me. I want you students to understand the power of your presence…how you show up every day will help this community to understand and leverage your talents.”

Once Dean Blake was committed to this initiative, it did not take much for her to convince EVCP Catherine Lucey to provide funding from her office to launch it. “As the first recipients of this fellowship, you have an opportunity to change UCSF. I cannot wait to see where you will take your projects,” remarked Dean Blake.

Accordingly, there will be opportunities throughout the year for fellows and mentors to meet as a group to discuss and share research progress, culminating in a June 2024 research symposium where SocPop Fellows and their faculty mentors will present their work to program directors and representatives from the Office of the EVCP and Graduate Dean’s Office. The symposium will be an opportunity to share progress on individual projects as well as disseminate ideas, foster collaborations, and identify opportunities to expand the work across the SocPop community of scholars and faculty mentors.

“I was blown away by the breadth and caliber of the proposals submitted for this initiative,” remarked Kristen Harknett, program director of the Sociology PhD program. “It’s a real testament to the wisdom of the EVCP and Dean’s vision: that we can enrich our institution and further its mission to advance health worldwide when we invest in research opportunities for our deep bench of brilliant and dedicated SocPop doctoral students. It’s a big win-win.”

2023-24 EVCP SocPop Fellows

Global Health Sciences

Mohamed Bailor Barrie
Mentor: Elizabeth Fair

  • Increasing equity and access to graduate studies in global health sciences: Establishing an educational partnership between UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences (IGHS) and the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone (COMAHS) to collaboratively advance Masters and PhD global health education in both settings.

Veronique Whittaker
Mentor: Dilys Walker

  • Establishing a Climate Change and Health Research Center and Developing a Climate Change Curricula for IGHS Masters and PhD Programs

Medical Anthropology

Bri Matusovsky
Mentor: Aimee Medeiros

  • The REPAIR Project’s Internship in Public Scholarship

Halle Young
Mentor: Kelly Knight

  • Research Assistant Support for Opioid Industry Document Archive (OIDA) Research, Training and Community Engagement Workstream


Christina Keny and Shaimaa Elrefaay
Mentor: Jill Howie Esquivel

  • UCSF PhD Program Curriculum Enrichment – The Qualifying Examination Process

Maggie Kuznia
Mentor: Ulrike Muench

  • Electronic Health Records Liaison


Sutina Chou
Mentor: Jenny Liu

  • Using Natural Language Processing to Analyze Social Barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare

Jennifer Dunn
Mentor: Carole Joffe

  • Graduate Research Initiative in Reproductive Health

Julia Gordon
Mentor: Janet Shim

  • Just Inclusion and Equity: Negotiating Community-Research Partnerships in Genomics Research

Natalie Keller
Mentor: Erin McCauley

  • Using Archival News Reports to Examine Disability, Race, and Policing

Paige Logan
Mentor: Lauren Suchman

  • Strengthening Participatory Research and Cross-Country Mentoring in the Future of Sexual and Reproductive Health Research (FOR) Kenya Program

Jeff Nicklas
Mentors: Tung Nguyen and Jennifer James

  • Anti-Racism in Research Consultation Service

Dimpho Orionzi
Mentor: Howard Pinderhughes

  • Process, Partnership, and Policy: The UCSF Anchor Institution Mission

Kylie Sloan
Mentor: Janice Tsoh

  • Promoting Tobacco Cessation among Cancer Patients

Melissa Victor
Mentors: Jarmin Yeh and Jennifer James

  • Emancipatory Sciences Lab Graduate Student Researcher

Rebecca Wolfe
Mentors: Kristen Harknett and Ed Yelin

  • Research and Development in Labor and Occupational Health