Multilingual Child Health Research Initiatives

CPCE's mission, to facilitate best-in-class pediatric clinical effectiveness research, requires inclusion and diversity. We are proud to support initiatives that seek to expand study populations beyond primarily English-speaking participants and to support the career development of multilingual researchers. 

Introducing the Short Course on MARS (Multilingual Approaches to Research Studies)

Presented by Language Services & the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness
of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia & Penn State University Applied Linguistics 
Funded by NICHD (R25HD101359) 

June 8-10, 2022; the Roberts Center for Pediatric Research in Philadelphia

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Addressing a paucity of training in specialized multilingual research methods for the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce, we offer a unique, in-person educational program to provide researchers with the sensitivity, skills, and knowledge to recruit and engage Emerging English Proficiency (EEP) children and families in research. 

Children and youth from EEP families are disproportionately excluded from research because of language barriers. The MARS Short Course will strengthen the research workforce by equipping investigators—including those who are themselves bilingual/bicultural—with skills and knowledge to design and manage inclusive protocols that extend health research to these important groups.  

After three interactive, in-person sessions using lectures, case studies, and small group work, participants will be able to: 

  • Articulate the ethical, practical, and scientific justification for inclusion of English language learners in research, including in funding applications. 
  • Demonstrate fundamental verbal and non-verbal skills for clear, concise interpreter-mediated communication. 
  • Evaluate and apply different translation protocols. 
  • Identify and prepare for language-related human and financial requirements across all phases of a research project, from design to publication. 

This course is tailored to graduate, postdoctoral, early career, and senior investigators whose work is inclusive of children, adolescents, and/or maternal-child health. It will also support career development for multilingual investigators from underrepresented backgrounds by providing training to leverage language skills for multilingual research and grant-seeking. The course targets disciplines including but not limited to public health, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, pediatrics, and the social sciences. Bilingual/bicultural applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. However, proficiency in languages other than English is not a course requirement.   

Course Leadership

  • Priscilla Ortiz, PhD, CMI-Spanish (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) is a certified healthcare interpreter, language access administrator, interpreting studies researcher, and interpreter educator with research training in applied linguistics. 
  • Robert Schrauf, PhD (Penn State University) is a linguist and anthropologist who conducts cross-cultural research and teaches courses in multilingual data collection to doctoral students in the social sciences, education, and applied linguistics. 
  • Katherine Yun, MD MHS (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) is a health disparities researcher and pediatrician with expertise in multilingual community-based participatory research. 
  • Leela Kuikel, MA (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) is a clinical research coordinator whose expertise includes outreach and engagement with refugee communities. 

Speakers and Panelists (Virtual and In-Person)

Ana P. Martínez-Donate, PhD 
Manny Jimenez, MD, MS, FAAP 
James Guevara, MD, MPH 
Massiel M. Ortega-Rivera, DDS MHA CMI
Katharine E. Zuckerman, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP
Marsha Gerdes, PhD
Ximena Cuellar, MBA
Gerardo Lázaro, PhD CMI
Karen Lee, MD MPH 
Elizabeth Dawson-Hahn, MD, MPH
Ignacio Tapia, MD
Lisa DeCamp, MD, MSPH
Tania Maria Caballero, MD, MHS
Nadège U. Mudenge, BS
Amy L. Schwarzhoff, MS, MBA, CIP
Lindsay Berrigan, MPH
Lara Lechtenberg, MPH
Harriet Okatch, PhD
Cindy Brach, MPP
Dalia Khalil, PhD, RN

Advisory Committee

H. Shonna Yin, MD MSc 
Ana P. Martínez-Donate, PhD 
K. Casey Lion, MD MPH 
Arash Javanbakht, MD 
Manny Jimenez, MD, MS, FAAP
James Guevara, MD, MPH 
Elena Fuentes-Afflick, MD, MPH

Application - Come to MARS!

Scholarships will be offered to offset financial hardship associated with course fees, travel, childcare, and/or assistive technology.

For more information, please contact Leela Kuikel at

Language Access in Research Working Group

More information coming soon!