UAB is No. 2 public nursing school for NIH funding

NIH 2023 Rankings

By Jennifer Lollar

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing has jumped into the top five in the nation for National Institutes of Health research funding, ranking No. 2 among public schools of nursing and No. 5 overall for fiscal year 2022, as ranked by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

The School increased its NIH funding by nearly $1 million from fiscal year 2021, reflecting its dedication to continuing to grow its research portfolio focused on improving health equity across the lifespan. The portfolio has four major theme areas—chronic condition management, supportive and palliative care, caregiving, and health systems and improvement science.

The School also boasts an annual research funding total of $18 million for fiscal year 2022, reflecting the sustainable scholarship funding support across all missions—research, education and practice.

Since fiscal year 2015, the School’s annual NIH research funding portfolio has grown by more than $7 million, moving the School from No. 34 overall in 2015 to No. 5 today.

“Reaching the top 5 for NIH funding marks a significant milestone for our School,” said Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Maria R. Shirey, PhD, MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FNAP, FAAN. “The continued growth of our research enterprise reflects the commitment of all UABSON faculty, staff and students to our research and scholarship mission, the significant work, the efforts and productivity of our Office of Research and Scholarship, and of being at one of the top academic health science centers in the nation and working in full partnership with our interprofessional UAB research colleagues and scientists.

NIH 2023 Rankings

“This NIH research funding achievement also underscores the importance of continued research, scholarship and creation of new knowledge, and the importance of applying this new knowledge to health care and nursing. I am proud of the role all UAB nurse scholars continue to play in advancing science in support of better health for everyone around the globe.”

The UAB School of Nursing has remained among the top 20 nursing schools for NIH funding since 2017, and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship Marie Bakitas, DNSc, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN, said, “When colleagues ask how we’ve been able to climb the ladder of scholarship success, I tell them it’s a team effort. We have committed the requisite time, mentorship, resources and support to help every faculty member, trainee and student acquire the skills to succeed as a scholar. Whether it’s an early career individual applying for a $5,000 internal pilot project or a senior investigator submitting a $5 million federal grant, the resources and skills are the same; we want each scholar to feel valued and supported. That’s the culture of the ORS and the School. And that is also how we attract scholars from across the globe to want to come to the UAB School of Nursing.”

Now that the School has made it into the Top 5 overall and is No. 2 in funding among public schools of nursing, Bakitas wants to continue the School’s upward trajectory.

“When we reached the Top 20, we accomplished a long-standing strategic goal and now that we have reached the Top 5, we aren’t going to stop there,” Bakitas said.

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