UK’s Robyn Lewis Brown Awarded Switzer Fellowship
Robyn Lewis Brown, associate professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, has been awarded a Switzer Fellowship from the National Institute of Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).
She is one of only four recipients nationwide to receive the prestigious fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year.
“It is a privilege and honor to receive this award," Brown said. "And I look forward to the research it will allow me to pursue."
Brown will use the NIDILRR funding to expand on her research concerning the effects of the Great Recession on employment experiences and health outcomes. In a series of four studies, she will examine how the differential effects of the recession at the state level have shaped working conditions for people with and without disabilities — thereby impacting health and well-being.
To carry out these studies, Brown will combine data from the National Survey of Midlife Development, the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Housing Finance Agency to guide her research.
“As the population ages and people are experiencing more years of both employment and functional disability, it is more crucial than ever that we address employment disadvantages that are disproportionately experienced by people with disabilities,” she explained. “Knowing the profound effects our work has on health and well-being, we need strategic research efforts to inform policies that can improve working conditions and population health in this period of economic austerity. This fellowship will provide me with the time and resources to do such intensive work.”
More About the Switzer Research Fellowships Program
The goal of the program is to build research capacity by supporting research on the rehabilitation of those with disabilities. Fellows must conduct original research in an area authorized by Section 204 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to maximize the full inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, family support and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with the most severe disabilities, and to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the act.