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17th Annual Research Capacity Building Workshop

Apr 12, 2021, 10:10 AM by Jessica Bloomer
Recap of the 17th Annual Research Capacity Building Workshop, held virtually on February 16th and March 24th, 2021

The 17th Annual Research Capacity Building Workshop, held virtually on February 16th and March 24th, 2021

Written by: Jessica Bloomer

This year’s workshop was held virtually, due to COVID-19 restrictions, during UC’s reading days; February 16th and March 24th. The workshop is an important piece of the Pilot Research Project Program because it helps prepare individuals to write a research proposal by presenting information on sources of funding, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) processes, preparing the application including the budget, and aligning research priorities with federal grant administrators.

There were nineteen attendees consisting of PhD students, postdocs, and junior faculty from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Eastern Kentucky University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Murray State University, Ohio University, Purdue University, University of Cincinnati, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Toledo, Western Kentucky University. Some of the participants’ fields of study included occupational safety and health, psychology, nursing, public health, engineering, and industrial hygiene. 

On day one, Dr. Burr Zimmerman, a principal consultant from the Urban Venture Group, led six sessions on grant overview, different funding agencies, SBIR/STTR, finding grant opportunities, how to prepare to write a proposal, and what to do after receiving an award. Dr. Zimmerman then had time for additional questions and discussion with the attendees. Dr. Zimmerman’s online workshop was informative and interactive by his use of Mentimeter, which incorporates online polling and quizzes within the presentation. This was a useful tool to help keep attendees engaged in an online format.

Day two started off with presentations from Dr. Eric Smith, a research scientist in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, covering the basics of how to write a research proposal and scoring proposals; followed by a presentation from Dr. Amit Bhattacharya, professor in the Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences, on the peer review process.

Dr. Smith and Dr. Bhattacharya then facilitated small group sessions where attendees crafted portions of a practice proposal including topic, significance, hypothesis, specific aims, approach, and innovation and incorporated all group members’ research backgrounds. This activity was meant to demonstrate how interdisciplinary research teams are developed as well as to practice writing questions and aims. The proposal topics developed by the groups were;

  • Impact of Care Bundling on COVID-19 Response

  • The Use of Remote Surveillance, Mindfulness-based Interventions, and a Combination of These to Improve Mental Health Wellbeing of Workers on Fracking Sites

  • Characterization of Manganese Exposure Biomarkers among Welder Apprentices

The groups then presented their proposals and scored each other’s presentations based on the NIH criteria Dr. Smith taught. The winner of the most outstanding group proposal was group 3; Characterization of Manganese Exposure Biomarkers among Welder Apprentices. After presenting their proposals, the attendees had the opportunity to hear feedback on their group proposals and ask additional questions to the panel members; Dr. Smith, Dr. Bhattacharya, Dr. Judy Jarrell, and Dr. Kermit Davis.

Thank you to the presenters and panelists for making this a valuable workshop for our attendees!

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