Purpose

Launched as a University of Michigan presidential initiative in 2019 and an Institute in 2021, the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention fosters collaboration among researchers in disciplines ranging from the social sciences and the arts to engineering and public health so that together we can formulate and answer critical questions about firearm injury prevention.

Key Features of the Institute:

  • A $10 million university commitment over five years will increase firearm injury prevention research and scholarship across U-M and also expand the research pipeline so that more individuals can study this national crisis.
  • The Institute explores firearm injuries across the lifespan, including suicide, community violence, unintentional injuries, domestic violence, school and mass shootings, peer violence and police violence, as well as disparities in susceptibility to firearm injuries by race, gender, geographic location, and socioeconomic status.
  • External stakeholder committees ensure the Institute has a diversity of nonpartisan perspectives beyond academia, and its members include firearm owners, religious and school leaders, law enforcement, and rural and urban community groups. Our internal advisory committees provide guidance on strategic priorities and foster collaboration across disciplines.
  • The University’s leadership in this space is illustrated by the fact that U-M researchers have secured more federal funding to study firearm injury prevention than any other academic institution nationwide.

What We Know

A national crisis

45,222

People died in 2020 from firearm-related injuries across the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

14%

Rise in the rate of firearm-related deaths from 2019 to 2020 (the latest year that data are available)

No. 1

Firearm injury is the leading cause of death among U.S. children and teens

C

What We’re Doing

Finding Solutions

 

As firearm injury rates continue to increase, there is a great need for data-driven solutions. For serious public health problems, such as motor vehicle crashes, our nation has turned to scientific evidence to prevent injuries, and firearms should be no different.

Much more can be done to address this problem, and the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention is uniquely positioned to harness research, scholarship and work with communities to inform research, programs, and policies that better protect people.

Aerial view of Ann Arbor

Statement of Purpose

To capitalize and coalesce on its existing strengths and the improving funding landscape,

Launched as a University of Michigan presidential initiative in 2019 and an Institute in 2021, the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention catalyzes and expands research and scholarship around firearm injury prevention. The Institute fosters research that is mindful of the critical social and historical context of firearms in the United States, and will be inclusive and encourage diverse viewpoints, disciplinary perspectives and approaches.

The Institute serves as the national hub for research that drives new solutions to this public health crisis, and trains the next generation of leaders in the field. Supported by an organizational structure that provides internal oversight and external guidance, the Institute will focus activities across five cores: Research and Scholarship, Education and Training, Community Engagement and Dissemination, Policy, and Data and Methods.

With a focus on public engagement, the Institute solidifies U-M as a top public research university addressing this public health crisis, and leading the nation in the science and training of firearm injury prevention.

“The focus is not on gun control, but rather on injury prevention. We did not halve automobile deaths by taking cars off the road, but rather by making them and their drivers safer.”

Rebecca Cunningham, Vice President for Research