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Making Discoveries and Changing Lives

Research by UAB nurses is enhancing the quality of life for communities around the world
Nowhere is the School of Nursing’s leadership more evident than in research, where extramural funding has increased by 197 percent over the past four years, and peer-reviewed publications by nursing faculty have increased by 94 percent over the past three years.

What’s truly impressive about those numbers are the communities they represent—the many people whose lives have been touched, for the better, by UAB nurse researchers.

“Research doesn’t end with what we discover,” said Dean Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “That’s just the beginning. We have to translate and disseminate that new knowledge. A big part of our research agenda is to feed what we’ve learned back to the community so that the quality of their lives can be improved.”

At this advanced level, research takes resources. That means successful grant applications are essential, not just to the advancement of research but also to the scholarly development of nursing faculty. Completing a successful grant application can take a year—longer if you’re new to the process, said Associate Dean for Research Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN. Meneses created a program whereby tenure-track faculty who conduct research are assigned a mentor from among tenured faculty with research expertise.

Faculty members meet with their mentors about once a week for guidance in developing their program of research and scholarship, devising a timeline, and balancing their research hours with teaching responsibilities. Mentors also help new researchers connect to university-wide interdisciplinary research centers, where interprofessional teams work with them in developing their ideas and proposals.

These centers also provide pilot funds to support researchers in making new discoveries.

“Together with our department chairs, we’ve expanded our mentoring program beyond research to include education pedagogy,” said Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Moneyham, PhD, RN, FAAN, who chaired the School of Nursing’s Research, Teaching, and Service and Scholarship Committee. “This allows faculty in the tenure and non-tenure tracks to have teaching mentors so we can help new faculty better understand the teaching role. We’re also providing the same support to faculty in clinical practice. It’s all about facilitating these faculty members, removing any barriers to their success, and better preparing them to teach, research, and serve the community.”

Read 8039 times Last modified on October 06, 2014