Social & Education Policy

Megan Gilster

  • Senior Research Fellow, Social and Education Policy Research Program
  • Associate Professor, School of Social Work


Megan Gilster's research addresses how community and neighborhood conditions matter for the well-being of residents. Her current projects include a community-engaged research project in a nearby community to understand networks among programs, the spatial location of programs, and perceptions of barriers and solutions to community inequality. In another project, she is collaborating with researchers in Public Health and Sociology to examine housing insecurity. They are investigating how local residents and students experience Iowa City’s tight housing market.

Before coming to the University of Iowa, she was a NICHD-funded postdoctoral scholar in the Health Disparities Research Scholars Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she researched the link between neighborhoods and disparities in health and mental health.


Research Interests

  • Neighborhoods
  • Community participation
  • Social determinants of mental and physical health
  • Community social organization
  • Housing

Educational Background

  • PhD, Sociology and Social Work, University of Michigan, 2010
  • MSW, University of Michigan, 2003