Student Research Opportunities

The Center for Health Services Research (CHSR) provides opportunities for highly motivated and talented undergraduate students to develop skills as young researchers and to further explore their interest in health services research. Each student will be associated with one or two specific research projects, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. In addition, the undergraduate students can attend HSR seminars and Work-in-Progress (WIP) sessions that expose them to a broad range of health service research areas, techniques, and approaches.

The definition of Health Services Research is constantly evolving. Among the most comprehensive definitions are those by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy.

  • Health services research examines how people get access to health care, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care. The main goals of health services research are to identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care; reduce medical errors; and improve patient safety. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2002)
  • Health services research is the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Its research domains are individuals, families, organizations, institutions, communities, and populations. (Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy, 2000)

One example of how the Center for HSR is applying research to optimize care is the Kentucky Consortium for Accountable Health Communities (KC-AHC), funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The Accountable Health Communities Model aims to address the health-related social needs of vulnerable patients. KC-AHC is one of 20 projects funded across the U.S. that will determine whether providing a combination of tailored community service referrals and patient navigation services assistance, as well as clinical and community partner alignment, will yield improvement in patient outcomes, health care utilization, and costs.

The goals of Center for Health Services Research mentoring program are:

  1. Foster independent thinking

  2. Offer guidance and mentorship to students interested in research

  3. Provide a forum for students to present the results of their research, and

  4. Encourage students to consider careers in Health Services Research

Interested in joining the CHSR Mentoring Program?

If you are interested in joining the CHSR Mentoring Program, please click here to read more about the program.  Please complete the CHSR Mentee Enrollment Form and submit to

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Center Administrator Shaunescia Davis at 859-218-3917 or you can email your questions to

Finding a Faculty Research Mentor

  • Research the researchers: View each of our faculty's background and research interests to help you determine the best fit that will provide you with the kind of educational experience that you're looking for.

  • Make contact: Contact the faculty directly, or contact Center Adminstrator Shaunescia Davis at, to set up a meeting.