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Director's Message

Scott Beach, Interim DirectorDr. Scott R. Beach, Interim Director

I am happy to update the University community on the recent activities and accomplishments of the University Center for Social & Urban Research (UCSUR).

During the past year, UCSUR produced over 25 peer-reviewed publications and participated in over 50 funded research projects, the majority of which involve multidisciplinary collaborations. UCSUR received approximately $1.7M in external funding for multiple research infrastructure support projects through the Survey Research Program (SRP) in collaboration with University faculty across schools and departments, plus an additional $1.0M in funding related to other UCSUR programs. We continued our nationally recognized research in family caregiving, financial exploitation of older adults, and technology and aging. As part of that effort, Dr. Beach is Co-Director (Co-PI) of an Administration for Community Living (ACL) / National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Family Support. This is a five year, $4.3M Center grant focused on facilitating the rapid translation and dissemination of state-of-the-art research and training into direct services and support programs designed to improve care, health, and quality of life of persons with disability, their families, and informal caregivers.

UCSUR also conducted the “Sate of Aging, Disability, and Family Caregiving in Allegheny County” project, an update of a similar 2014 effort. Using secondary data and a large-scale telephone survey, the project characterizes older adults across a broad range of dimensions including demographics, income and poverty, health, work and retirement, living arrangements, housing and neighborhood conditions, and caregiving, disability and aging service use. UCSUR also continues to be the go-to resource for data and analysis to inform regional public policy through the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC), which currently provides access to over 300 downloadable datasets (many updated on a frequent basis). The WPRDC also contains several data extraction and visualization tools that enhance user access and support statistical analyses.

UCSUR continues to build its permanent research infrastructure. Highlights include our regional research registry with more than 9,000 local residents (including 1,200 family caregivers) willing to participate in research studies; continued refinement of the UCSUR SRP in-house longitudinal multi-mode survey data management and collection system; and continued expansion of our Geographic Information System (GIS) capabilities.

Finally, UCSUR has played a key role in conducting research to understand the social, economic, and quality of life impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, UCSUR has collaborated on community-based efforts to assist with response to the pandemic.

I hope this report will give you a sense of the value that UCSUR provides to the  University and the broader community.

-Scott R. Beach, PhD
  Interim Director

· Center for Social & Urban Research ·
UCSUR was established in 1972 to serve as a resource for researchers and educators interested in the basic and applied social and behavioral sciences. UCSUR promotes and coordinates interdisciplinary research focused on the social, economic, and health issues most relevant to our society.  Read more about us...

University Center for Social & Urban Research
3343 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260   ·   412-624-5442