From Dr. Grace Baranek, Associate Chair for Research

With this issue, we unveil our new format for the DAHS research newsletter! Many thanks to Katherine Pearl, Communications Specialist, for her leadership on this effort, working with the dedicated members of our Research Communications Subcommittee (RAC), including Skip Ryan, Wes Winkelman, and Drs. Linda Watson, Sharon Williams, Karen Erickson, and Mark Klinger. This issue highlights two quarters (January-June 2012) of research news and faculty scholarship in the Department of Allied Health Sciences (AHS).

It also features achievements of our graduate students across divisions–28 publications, and many more presentations, were co-authored by our students.  We have many reasons to celebrate these junior researchers and their wonderful faculty mentors.  I hope you enjoy reading about their collective accomplishments.

Between January 1 and June 30, 2012, the department submitted 18 new research grant proposals and $982,452 was generated in direct costs from grants.  Thanks to Wes Winkelman for processing all of these grants and for creating the summary graphs on this page that depict our growing productivity over the past several years.  Faculty publications were numerous (see pages 7-9) with dozens more in press.  The volume of presentations at local, national, and international venues was a great testament to our outreach and dissemination efforts—in fact, it was too great to fit into this newsletter!  
The RAC has been actively working to enhance departmental infrastructure and align resources to better support faculty and student research endeavors.

In particular, the RAC has been evaluating feasible models for (1) increasing methodological/statistical supports; (2) increasing utilization of available information technology and enhanced data securities; (3) facilitating opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations; (4) assessing mentoring needs of faculty; and (5) reviewing F&A policies.  All of these efforts will undoubtedly inform research goals and the strategic planning process (led by Dr. Lee McLean and representatives of the DAHS strategic planning committee) for the department this coming year.

Research forums provided opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations and featured speakers from within and outside our department.  Topics included a panel on NIH Study Sections/Review Process with Drs. Jim Bodfish, Carol Guiliani, and Mark Klinger (January); a panel on Basic and Applied Research with Drs. Lori Leibold, Mike Lewek, and Grace Baranek (February); a presentation on Novel Intervention Research Designs, Beyond Randomized Controlled Trials by Dr. Sam Field (March); and a presentation on Communicating with the Media about Research by Jennifer James and Rob Holliday (April).  Thanks to Drs. Brian Boyd and Mike Lewek for taking the lead on planning these forums–they are open to feedback and ideas for future topics/speakers.  Forums will continue this year (4th Wednesdays) with the first one scheduled for September 26, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.  Please mark your calendars and encourage your DAHS colleagues, post-docs, and PhD students to join us!

The research Website survey, led by Skip Ryan, Office Manager, resulted in many enhancements to our research page (www.alliedhealth.unc.edu/research), including trailers of research news, enhanced search functions, guidelines for submitting grants, and an easy online link for submitting your news or upcoming events for immediate posting.  Thank you, Skip, for your ongoing support of the research Web page!

The new academic year brings with it more changes.  We wish a happy retirement to Dr. Virginia Dickie, a compassionate leader and scholar in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy for the past 12 years.  We also extend a huge thank you to Dr. Jen Craft Morgan, collaborator extraordinaire, for her many methodological and research contributions to AHS, and we congratulate her on her new faculty position at Georgia State University.  We also extend a warm welcome to new faculty, post-docs, students, and staff who are joining us, and we encourage you to take advantage of the many resources this department and university offer.

A goal for our AHS office of research this year is to continue to improve administrative efficiencies and bolster supports for faculty and student research.  We will be refining the grant submission process, and we will provide more infrastructure for grant writing/editing, peer review, and statistical consultation.  Another goal is to complete our assessment of mentoring needs and identify effective models for research mentoring.  Stay tuned for results from the mentoring focus groups and interviews led by Dr. Craft Morgan; many thanks to those of you who participated in this scholarly project.  Finally, we hope to continue to create more social spaces for research faculty, post-docs, and students to share ideas and dialogue about their research and scholarship, and to celebrate the many achievements to come.

 

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