EAU CLAIRE — While traveling around the Deep South for the next 10 days to learn about U.S. civil rights history, a group of UW-Eau Claire students will also help with a national study on COVID-19 testing.

Students on the university's Civil Rights Pilgrimage have volunteered to take part in a public health study through the National Institutes of Health that tests the efficacy of at-home COVID-19 testing kits, according to a UW-Eau Claire news release.

The volunteers will have regular COVID-19 lab testing that was already planned during the trip, but also use self-testing kits. Students talking part in the study will electronically send photos of results from both testing methods to NIH researchers for comparison.

Students who choose to take part in the study will get a monetary stipend.

"This program offers improved safety for our traveling students, financial support and the chance to contribute to important national research," Grace Crickette, the university's vice chancellor for finance and administration, said in the news release.

The university's annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage bus tour takes a group of UW-Eau Claire students to numerous historical sites in the southern U.S. Students will visit cities in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee before returning to Eau Claire on Jan. 17.