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Center on Health, Risk, and Society

The Center on Health, Risk and Society partners with numerous other centers, departments and schools across American University and includes faculty and students from within the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of International Studies, the School of Public Affairs, the School of Education and the Washington School of Law. Colleagues from George Washington University, Howard University, Georgetown University, the University of Maryland, the DC Center for AIDS Research and other academic and research institutions in the DC area are also engaged in the intellectual community that serves as the foundation for CHRS.

Research at CHRS focuses on health and risk related topics, such as: community and economic empowerment; stigma, discrimination and gender-based violence; maternal and child health; adolescent health; spatial dimensions of health; social networks and health; HIV, substance use, drug policy, incarceration/community re-entry; immigration: law enforcement and health; community disruption and health; and large-scale program evaluation. CHRS provides a range of resources in support of externally funded research around the social context of health and risk in the United States and globally and can draw on a broad group of affiliates with diverse expertise to respond to collaborative research opportunities and to tackle multidisciplinary questions.


The mission of the Center on Health, Risk, and Society (CHRS) is to promote and support transformative, multi-disciplinary research that seeks to understand and address the social context and structural drivers of health and risk.

Guiding Principles

Guiding principles around which CHRS is structured include:

  • Convene: CHRS convenes AU faculty and external experts to strategize on critical questions and challenges related to its mission, including those which connect to university based and local, national, and international priorities. A CHRS annual research symposium, and other public events focus on the exploration of ideas and opportunities where AU is well-positioned to engage in collaborative, impactful, multi-disciplinary research around the socio-structural context of health and risk. 
  • Connect: CHRS will ensure that CHRS faculty affiliates and Research Fellows have strategic resources, including tailored and person-centered grant support to be successful in securing, implementing, and sustaining externally funded research.
  • Create: CHRS fosters external visibility and impact by offering assistance to Research Fellows, as well as more established investigators and teams, in conceptualizing, designing, implementing and disseminating their independent research agendas.


CHRS Research Fellows

Letters of intent due October 15, 2018
Applications due November 15, 2018

CHRS is proud to announce the CHRS Research Fellows Program, a competitive program annually available for up to five AU faculty members working in the area of health, risk, and society and interested in securing external funding.

How AIDS, Ebola, and Zika Changed US Diplomacy

Tuesday, September 25, at 1:00
Letts Hall Formal Lounge

Former US Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, former Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, US Department of Health and Human Services; and Chief of the HIV/AIDS Section of UNICEF.


Wednesday, October 3, at 2:30
Watkins G12

Kelly King, Mobile Integrated Health Manager, Baltimore City Fire Department.

See all Fall CHRS Events.

Hands sharing grain.

CHRS projects include Community-based Combination HIV Prevention in Tanzanian Women at Heightened Risk and Stigma, Social Cohesion & HIV Outcomes among Vulnerable Women across Epidemic Settings.

CHRS Projects

Connect with CHRS

Want to

  • join the listserv and receive details on upcoming events and other announcements,
  • request Outlook calendar invites to CHRS-sponsored events, or
  • share announcements and opportunities?


Email CHRS