Institute supports CRE² 2022 seed grant awardees

Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health

The Institute for Public Health is supporting the latest round of seed grants awarded by its university partner, the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity (CRE²). The 2022-awarded projects focus on improving paternal involvement in maternal and infant health, and on evaluating refugee success as they exit their homeland and enter a new society.  

The principal aim of the CRE² seed grant program is to assist in the development of research ideas (e.g., preliminary analyses, pilot studies, conceptual schemas, archival work) that have the potential to significantly enhance scientific and cultural methodologies and to garner external research support.

The following 2022 projects have been awarded up to $15,000 in seed funding, which is matched by the Institute for Public Health:

Project: A Pilot Study to Explore the Feasibility and Acceptability of the Fathers First Initiative to Improve Paternal Involvement in Maternal and Infant Health

Principle Investigators:

Jesse Davis, MD, instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine and Institute for Public Health faculty scholar; senior clinical advisor for Infant and Maternal Health Initiatives at the BJC Healthcare Office of Community Health Improvement

Tyriesa Howell, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School and Institute for Public Health Faculty Scholar

Project summary: Maternal and infant health in the United States face critical threats. The CDC suggests maternal mortality has increased over the last 10 years despite major advances in medical care. This study aims to show that infant and maternal health outcomes improve through enhanced paternal involvement. Investigators will evaluate the impact of mental health support and parenting education designed specifically for fathers to moderate improved infant and maternal health outcomes.

Project: Refugee Success: Developing Refugee-Grounded Definitions and Measurement

Principle Investigator: Margot Moinester, PhD, assistant professor of sociology in Arts & Sciences; Institute for Public Health faculty scholar


Ilana Seff, DrPH, research assistant professor at the Brown School

Lindsay Stark, DrPH, MPH, associate dean for global strategy & programs and associate professor at the Brown School; Institute for Public Health faculty scholar

Project summary: What makes refugees successful in their new societies? More specifically, what features of a refugees’ exit from his homeland (e.g., socioeconomic status pre-flight, duration of transit, exposure to stressful life events prior to arrival) and the receiving society’s reception (e.g., government policies, public receptiveness, and co-ethnic networks) best predict whether refugees consider themselves successful? This project aims to develop and validate a refugee-grounded Refugee Success Index and produce estimates of the various, disaggregated dimensions of their exit and reception on refugee success in different U.S. locations.

To amplify research, the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity collaborates with the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy and the Institute for Public Health to expand the impact of research seed grants.

The Institute for Public Health harnesses the strengths of Washington University in St. Louis to address the complex health issues and health disparities facing the St. Louis region and the world.