UM Rural Institute (MT UCEDD) Awarded Grant from OSERS

February 12, 2014

Innovative studies on issues in rural America are underway at the University of Montana Rural Institute, thanks to a five-year grant of $4.38 million through the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

"This new award marks a major advance in our understanding of living in rural communities," said Tom Seekins, Director of the Research and Training Center.  "We will be developing new methods and measures to study the places where we live, how those places affect the quality of our lives, and how we can use that knowledge to improve our communities."

For more than 25 years, the Rural Institute's Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities has served people with disabilities. The Research and Training Center will conduct 10 new research projects over the next five years. With rural development in mind, researchers will develop new techniques to improve health, employment, and participation in community life. They will also contribute to improving health systems policy and service delivery by exploring who moves to small towns, where they come from, who leaves and who returns, what services are available, and the relationship between these issues. Finally, the program will continue to provide training and technical assistance in its award winning programs of health promotion, self-employment and transportation.

For more information, visit the Rural Institute's main website at and the Research and Training Center's website at