Chez Veterans Center's February 2020 MSKC Newsletter
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MSKC Newsletter, February 2020
Research with, not for.


Welcome to the First MSKC Newsletter!

Thank you for being part of this network and for your investment in Military/Veteran (M/V) communities. The Military Service Knowledge Collaborative (MSKC) was created in 2018 as a response to the barriers Illinois researchers face  when trying to apply their work to M/V populations. Illinois researchers are motivated to understand Veterans’ challenges but struggle to recruit Veterans for studies because of not having the right tools to effectively engage with Veteran communities. Motivating Veterans to participate in research can be difficult because of their experiences with volunteer burnout, status as a vulnerable population, lack of trust in institutions, being a small community that many research groups are competing for access to, and most importantly, skepticism of ‘cultural outsiders.’

Thus, “How do we motivate Veterans to engage with us in research?” was the guiding question that sparked the creation of the MSKC. The answer is that we don’t apply our work to this population, rather, we do the work with this community. "Research with, not for" has become the MSKC battle cry. 

We center the needs of M/V communities while meeting the needs of researchers motivated to serve this community. As a catalyst to create and apply research with Military/Veteran communities, the mission of the MSKC is to foster collaboration between researchers and Military/Veteran communities. We accomplish this mission through:

  1. Strategic Partnering between M/V organizations and researchers to facilitate access for recruitment and to ensure the needs of this community are central to project development.
  2. Community Events that create spaces for researchers and M/V stakeholders to network and engage with each other on timely topics impacting this community.
  3. Educational trainings and workshops tailored to fuse the societal military-civilian divide and help researchers develop necessary cultural competencies for effectively engaging with this community in research.

Our upcoming monthly newsletters will provide explicit examples of how being part of the MKSC can support you as a researcher and/or a military-connected person. For now, please check out our new website and blog to learn more about what the MSKC can do for you. Not currently a member? Join here

Upcoming Opportunities

Call for MSKC Seed Grant Proposals - The MSKC Seed Grant Program provides support for research projects solving Military/Veteran (M/V) issues through establishing and developing partnerships with stakeholders from M/V community organizations. The MSKC will fund three projects of $15,000 each this academic cycle; proposal deadline is March 27th, 2020. 

Call for Student Research Award Nominations - The Student Veterans of America chapter at UIUC (Illini Veterans) is collaborating with the MSKC to award the efforts of undergraduate and graduate students at UIUC who are either 1) student-veterans conducting any type of research or 2) non-veteran students conducting research with Military/Veteran populations. Two awards of $500 each will be given this cycle. Nominations due March 8th, 2020.

Special Topics course: Military Veterans: Community Health & Wellness - Do you have students interested in Military/Veteran research? This special topics course provides cultural insight and tools needed for engaging with this community. This course is open to all students, both undergraduate and graduate, military and non-military; intended audience includes students who desire to work in a service career, particularly serving Military/Veteran communities (esp. applicable to future medical students & mental/behavioral health students).

DoD Grant Writing Workshop - The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI) invites research faculty and professionals to attend the inaugural Department of Defense (DoD) Grant Writing Workshop March 25, 2020.

Brain Imaging and Tinnitus: International Interdisciplinary Conference - This local conference is hosted May 18-19, 2020 at the Beckman Institute and is devoted to brain imaging and tinnitus with international and local speakers.


Every month we will highlight MSKC research collaborations. This month we are putting the spotlight on MSKC 2019 seed grant recipient, Communication Professor, Leanne Knobloch, and REBOOT Combat Recovery for their project: Healing in the Aftermath of War: Evaluating the REBOOT Combat Recovery Program. See their full spotlight on our blog post


The Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) recently announced their research funding for 2020. The following two programs currently have open funding opportunities:

CDMRP Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Program has three awards open, with a pre-application deadline of March 27, 2020 for each:

CDMRP Breast Cancer Research Program has five awards open currently, with pre-applications being due March 12 & 13, 2020:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awards grants to qualifying organizations to plan, develop, manage, and implement programs to provide adaptive sports opportunities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. The Adaptive Sports Grant Program is facilitated and managed by the National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events Office. The application period is currently open until March 17, 2020.

The Army Futures Command released a Broad Agency Announcement for Disruptive Applications. Proposers are required to submit white papers through the Army Applications Lab. AAL will notify applicants if they have been invited to submit a full proposal. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until May 1, 2024. The Army Futures Command’s modernization strategy and priorities can be found here.

Have an Idea for a New Project?  We can help shape your idea, find partners to bring your idea to life, and provide you with tools needed to create a successful project focused on solving challenges facing Military/Veteran communities. Submit your idea here.


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