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Multicultural Suicide Research Center (MSRC) Research Lab

Multicultural Suicide Research Center (MSRC) Research Group

Drs. Bruce Bongar ( and Joyce Chu (

MSRC Overview
Current evidence-based practices of suicidology lack integration with knowledge regarding cultural variations in suicide, increasing risk for misdetection or mismanagement of risk in diverse populations. The goals of the Multicultural Suicide Research Center are to advance the field of multicultural suicidology through projects investigating suicide assessment, prevention, and management.
Examples of MSRC projects include the Cultural Assessment of Risk for Suicide 2.0 project which aims to refine a brief evidence-based clinical tool (CARS; the Cultural Assessment of Risk for Suicide instrument) for culturally-competent suicide risk detection that complements and improves existing assessment procedures for diverse populations. Students may be involved in modifying and translating this empirical tool into clinical application.
The group is also embarking upon a large project and grant working with the Navajo nation on youth substance abuse and suicide prevention, and another collaborating with Santa Clara County to infuse cultural competency into suicide prevention programming. Other MSRC work includes projects on medical examiner suicide decedent data, an examination of cultural variations in clinical suicide queries, and an examination of crisis center utilization.  
The MSRC is a collaborative research lab led by Drs. Bruce Bongar and Joyce Chu. Students apply to and are matched with either Dr. Bongar or Dr. Chu as their primary advisor; MSRC students work collaboratively as a group based on project involvement.
Openings: Approximately 3 openings to join the lab each year. You will be expected to start your work in the research lab starting the previous spring or summer quarter.
Apply: Students interested in joining the lab are asked to submit the following items to either Drs. Bongar or Chu (choose a primary mentor for your application) by 5pm on the PAU uniform research lab application date.
  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. One or two page cover letter discussing past research experience, how and why the student became interested in suicide and diversity work, and specific research and clinical interests in cultural suicide studies.
  3. A writing sample such as your research proposal written in PAU’s Research Methods course.
  4. PAU unofficial transcript
Notification: Students accepted into MSRC Research lab will be notified by email by the PAU uniform notification date.