Past Research Themes

The Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society is dedicated to inspiring collaborative and impactful data innovations. Each year, the Institute announces an annual theme to address some of society’s wicked problems through data-driven research.

Grants are awarded to researchers who submit proposals that fit within each year’s research theme. The grant program is announced each spring, and is open to all University of Notre Dame faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Research Theme for 2023: “Advances in Data for Health Equity Research and Education”

The Lucy Family Institute 2023 Annual Theme was “Advances in Data for Health Equity Research and Education (ADHERE).” As health disparities threaten our communities’ well-being, University of Notre Dame faculty and staff refused to keep aside. ADHERE serves as a culmination of several years of work addressing healthcare disparities, tackling health and healthcare inequities, and establishing state and national health research collaborations.

  • Launch of the Health Equity Data Lab: The Health Equity Data Lab (HEDL)established under the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society at the University of Notre Dame and generously supported by a gift from Accenture, collaborates with interdisciplinary researchers from academia and community partners to identify and address health inequities. Visit the HEDL website here:
  • Addressing Healthcare Disparities in Mexico: In partnership with Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez in Mexico City, Mexico, this project is focused on understanding the clinical, social, and structural challenges associated with inequity in health and healthcare access in low- to middle-income countries. The Lucy Family Institute team, lead by Angélica García Martínez, PhD, developed a data-driven mobile application deployed within the public health care system in Mexico.
  • HungerTech Challenge: HungerTech is a month-long technology challenge by AgriNovus Indiana, a Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) company. The challenge tasks innovators with ideating and implementing tech-enabled business solutions that connect targeted populations experiencing food insecurity to for profit and not-for-profit food networks, with an aim to reduce inequity in food access, improving quality of life of target populations. Participants received access to AgriNovus research data, connections to subject matter experts and mentors, as well as one-on-one coaching to develop their idea. The Institute’s AnalytiXIN team, including two co-op interns, worked with Geoff Gentz and AgriNovus for over six months on research leading up to the challenge and developing ideas for the competition. At the conclusion of the challenge, Notre Dame’s AnalytiXIN team was one of the judges who selected the winner. More information about the challenge is available:
  • Closing the Loop on Child Lead Poisoning: To address child lead poisoning in St. Joseph County, IN, the Lucy Family Institute faculty led a team of researchers from the Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team (ND-LIT), the Center for Civic Innovation, healthcare providers at Beacon Health System, the St. Joseph County Department of Health, community health workers, local governmental officials at the City of South Bend, and the Lead Affinity Group, to identify gaps in care coordination and design a technological intervention for community health workers to effectively guide a household through lead exposure diagnosis and remediation. More information can be found here:
  • Michiana Community Health Coalition: Since January 2022, the Institute has funded the Michiana Community Health Coalition (MCHC), which comprises health workers, community navigators, and certified addiction peer recovery coaches. Its goals include advancing research, offering student education, and enhancing public health in the South Bend-Elkhart community. MCHC is convened by Institute affiliates Jessica Brookshire, Jen Burke Lefever, and Jill Pentimonti. The coalition meets monthly to pursue solutions to issues that commonly contribute to disparate health outcomes in the U.S. Over the last year, MCHC has grown to include 18 organizations within the region of St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall Counties. Key partners of MCHC include Beacon Health System, City of South Bend, Elkhart County Health Department, Franciscan Health, Goshen Hospital, HealthLinc, Heart City Health, Lacasa, Inc., Naxos Neighbors, Oaklawn, Office of Minority Health, Primary Care Partners of South Bend, Purdue Extension, Saint Joseph Health System, South Bend Fire Department, St. Joseph County Department of Health, St. Joseph County Public Library, and United Way of St. Joseph County. Learn more here: