San Francisco Health Investigators

© University of California—San Francisco.

Project Website(s)

SciEd Conference Poster

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SciEd Conference Poster
  • Abstract

    San Francisco Health Investigators (SF HI), developed and led by the Science & Health Education Partnership at UC San Francisco, will use a community-based participatory research model to provide authentic research experiences for high school students, the majority from backgrounds underrepresented in the sciences.

    SF HI will: 1) develop a community of high school Student Researchers who will conduct research into health issues in their communities, study how adolescents respond to health messages, create new health messages informed by this research, and study the broader impacts of the materials they develop; 2) partner with educational researchers to research the effects of SF HI on the high school student participants and the impact of the materials on the broader community; 3) disseminate those materials shown to have the greatest impact nationally; and 4) publish results on the public understanding and awareness of health issues in peer-reviewed journals and other forums to inform and advance the field of public health.

    The SF HI model is designed to leverage students’ cultural and technological knowledge and their social capital in the role of Student Researchers as they study the awareness, knowledge and attitudes about current health issues in their communities. It will have a broad range of impacts. Over the course of the project, 100 urban public high school students will be immersed in research projects that have the potential to directly benefit the health of their communities. These Student Researchers will design health messages informed by their social, cultural, and community knowledge and by their research results. They will collectively survey more than 8,500 community members – their peers, neighbors, and attendees at public gatherings to assess the effectiveness of these materials.

    Student-developed materials will be distributed broadly via the web, high school and college wellness centers, the NIH SEPA community, and other networks – thus these materials have the potential to reach over 1.5 million adolescents and young adults over the life of the project.

  • Dissemination Strategies

    Health messages will be disseminated via the web, in high school and college wellness centers, through the NIH SEPA community and other networks. Results on the public understanding and awareness of health issues will be published in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Project Evaluation(s)

    The evaluation plan for San Francisco Health Investigators includes front-end, developmental research to inform the project design (year one) and instrument design (annually), ongoing formative assessment, and a final summative evaluation. Throughout the project, evaluation is integrated with the research agenda to realize a complete description of the project’s outcomes and the programmatic structures that contributed to those outcomes.

  • Resources for Sharing

    Each year, SF HI will focus on a specific health topic. For each topic, we expect to develop: 1) valid and reliable instruments with accompanying scoring guides and exemplars for use by the public health and health education communities; 2) research-based health messages tested for effectiveness in diverse communities through a randomized controlled study design; and 3) research findings describing the knowledge, attitudes, and awareness of health topics among adolescents and young adults (ages 15-21) from diverse backgrounds.

    Students’ health message campaigns can be viewed at their campaign webpages:




  • Additional Information

    Publications There are no publications yet from this project.

Project Photos

  • © University of California—San Francisco.

  • © University of California—San Francisco.

  • © University of California—San Francisco.

  • © University of California—San Francisco.

  • © University of California—San Francisco.

Project Audience

High school students and their communities.

Subjects Addressed

Public health, infectious diseases, immunity, antibiotic resistance, with additional topics addressed in later years of the grant award.

Associated SEPA News