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Rural Renewal Initiative

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We envision a future with hope-filled, evidence-based rural renewal movements growing in every state and nation. The Rural Renewal Initiative engages and expands an interdisciplinary community of researchers and students devoted to improving rural communities.

What is the Rural Renewal Initiative?

Learn about the three core programs.

Pursuing the Mission

On-site student researchers

Upper-level undergraduates and graduate students lead community-engaged research in rural communities during the summer. They are trained on approaches for successful community-based research. Students study developing natural, human and/or technological capital. This Rural Scholars program will eventually become a key part of a minor and/or certificate in rural renewal.

Rural Scholars

Supporting interdisciplinary research

Community partners and researchers from engineering, human sciences, health sciences, business and agriculture test new approaches for rural youth development and entrepreneurship, health care systems and digital connectivity. A seed grant program engages new communities, researchers and topics each year.

Seed Grants

Celebrating successes in rural renewal

The initiative hosts an annual Rural Renewal Symposium to expand and empower a network of collaborating faculty, students and community leaders. The symposium features rural renewal projects and strategies from faculty, students, and community members. Rural Renewal Prizes honor a global leader in rural renewal research, education or engagement and a leader in Oklahoma rural communities. This event raises awareness of rural research needs and helps develop new collaborations.


Focused Researchers

collaborating across colleges
A team of diverse, focused researchers and external partners encompassing a variety of expertise and committed to rural renewal support this initiative.

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