In 1989, Civitan International delegates at the Chicago Convention voted to begin an international flagship project in cooperation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). This project became known as the Civitan International Research Center. This is now a 60,000 square-foot facility on the UAB campus affiliated with the medical school, involved in research and clinical activities associated with developmental disabilities. This facility now has more than 300 scientists, faculty, clinicians, and staff involved in studying the causes and effects of developmental disabilities. Currently over 20,000 families each year are impacted by the $7 million annual budgeted programs of the Civitan International Research Center.