Linda Silka's training is as a social and community psychologist and much of her work has focused on building community-university research partnerships. Prior to moving to the University of Maine, she was a faculty member for three decades at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she directed the Center for Family, Work, Community, served as the Special Assistant to the Provost for Community Outreach and Partnerships, and was Professor in the Psychology Department and then University Professor in the interdisciplinary Department of Regional Economic and Social Development.
Recent research partnerships she has led include the NIEHS-funded Southeast Asian Environmental Justice Partnership and the New Ventures Partnership, the HUD-funded Community Outreach Partnership Center and Diverse Healthy Homes Initiative, and the Center for Immigrant and Refugee Community Leadership and Empowerment. She has served as principal investigator on over $16 million of federal grants from the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Education.
She has written extensively on the opportunities and challenges of building research partnerships with diverse groups and have consulted internationally on how to build community-university research partnerships.