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NORC News

Singleton awarded USDA AFRI Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship grant

February 1, 2016

Chelsea R. Singleton, PhD, MPH—current post-doctoral research associate in the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and former pre-doctoral research fellow in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) and Department of Epidemiology at UAB—was awarded an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship grant by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The grant is supported by the AFRI Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative, which focuses on developing the next generation of leading researchers and professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. The program targets highly motivated trainees who develop well-defined research, education, extension, or integrated projects that align with one of the USDA’s challenge areas (such as community nutrition, childhood obesity, hunger, food safety, and climate change). The grant provides recipients two years of support to cover salary, travel, career training activities, and research expenses. Recipients are expected to engage in productive academic experiences and research activities that will foster their professional independence.

Dr. Singleton’s proposed research project is titled “An Integrated Approach to Increasing Farmers Market Use among Low-Income African American Families.” The overarching goal of the project is to use community-based participatory research methods to develop and pilot-test a culturally tailored nutrition education program that aims to increase farmers market usage and fruit and vegetable intake among low-income African American families residing in Chicago. The project will involve conducting focus groups, auditing local farmers markets, and forming a community advisory board that consist of adults who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. For the next two years, Dr. Singleton will work closely with the Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion (the UIC-affiliated SNAP-Ed implanting agency) to conduct her proposed research.

This integrated project will build upon the training Dr. Singleton received at UAB by increasing her knowledge of nutrition education, qualitative research methods, and community-based participatory research methods.

Her mentoring team consists of Angela Odoms-Young, PhD, co-director of the Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion and associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition at UIC; and Jennifer McCaffrey, PhD, MPH, RD, assistant dean of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension.