Gender-Based Violence Research Group

Mission: The UNC GBV Research Group is a group of graduate students, faculty, researchers, and practitioners who work to foster a better understanding of, and an end to, all forms of violence associated with a person’s gender. Our efforts affect change domestically and globally through research initiatives, advocacy, pursuits of funding, and the training of individuals working to prevent and control this epidemic.

Goals/Activities: Working in close collaboration, the following committees plan activities that facilitate interdisciplinary research, provide training and professional development for GBV researchers and practitioners, and create opportunities for networking for individuals interested in GBV research and practice.

The Communications Committee coordinates and disseminates all group communications and liaises between the GBV Research Group and partnering organizations. Laurie Graham (, Doctoral Candidate, School of Social Work, is the chair of this committee.

The Training and Research Committee provides support and coordination for the group’s paper teams, writing workshops, and journal club, and explores opportunities for seeking funding for GBV research. Paper teams are interdisciplinary groups of scholars, including UNC students, faculty, and staff that conduct research on various aspects of gender-based violence. The journal club meets regularly to read and discuss publications covering various forms of GBV and the application of relevant findings to current and future GBV work. Hannabeth Franchino-Olsen (, Doctoral Candidate, School of Public Health, is the chair of this committee.

The Event Planning Committee coordinates the group’s social and networking events as well as the annual Speaker Series and Research Symposium. The speaker series brings GBV researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to UNC’s campus to discuss their work with UNC students, faculty, and staff as well as community members. The GBV Research Symposium brings together students, faculty, staff, and community members to present and discuss current GBV research and practice. Yasmin Barrios (, Doctoral Candidate, School of Public Health, is the chair of this committee.

Faculty Support: Drs. Beth Moracco, Rebecca Macy, Sandra Martin, and Steve Marshall are faculty advisors for this group.

Opioid Student Research Group

Mission: The purpose of the Opioid Student Research Group is to add to the knowledge base of opioid overdose prevention research and engage students, faculty, and staff in collaborative research or practice work related to opioid overdose prevention.

Goals/Activities: The group is comprised of UNC students, faculty, and staff, and community members who are working to improve awareness of opioid research at UNC and in Carolina communities.  The group’s goals are to 1) promote student research through presentations and publications; 2) identify opportunities for research dissemination; and 3) connect students, faculty, and staff, and practitioners on practice-informed opioid research projects. The group meets monthly and offers a faculty speaker series and research workshops. The faculty speaker series is an opportunity for students and faculty to present their opioid research every other month. Examples of past presentation topics include medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in prisons and risk of overdose among recently incarcerated individuals. The research workshops are opportunities for students to “workshop” their own research and receive feedback from the group, which also takes place every other month. A recent example of this was a student who presented preliminary results from a qualitative study interviewing NC pain providers and individuals receiving pain treatment about their perceptions of MAT.
Faculty Support: Drs. Steve Marshall and Shabbar Ranapurwala are the faculty advisors for this network.

Membership: The group is comprised of UNC students, faculty, and staff, and community members who are working to improve awareness of opioid research at UNC and in Carolina communities. Currently, the group has 80-150 members. Dr. Steve Marshall and Dr. Shabbar Ranapurwala are the faculty advisors for this network.

Child Maltreatment Prevention Research and Practice Network

Mission: The purpose of the Child Maltreatment Prevention Research and Practice Network is to 1) unite local child abuse and neglect researchers and practitioners; 2) discuss current developments in child abuse and neglect research, policy, and practice; and 3) brainstorm practical solutions for bridging the gap between research, policy, and practice within the field of child welfare.

Goals/Activities: This network is comprised of UNC masters and doctoral students, faculty, and staff from diverse disciplines including the Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Social Work, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, and School of Medicine. The network meets every other week to discuss research and its implications for child maltreatment prevention practice, and organizes monthly field trips to learn about local program and policy initiatives related to child wellbeing and child maltreatment prevention. Students and faculty are currently conducting a systematic review to examine the availability, psychometric properties, and use of social determinants of health screening measures to detect early indicators of risk and inform care among youth in clinical settings.

Faculty Support: Drs. Meghan Shanahan and Paul Lanier are the faculty advisors for this network.