With the second-annual Converge International Rural Health Symposium having wrapped up, Neil J. MacKinnon, PhD, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Augusta University, and Zach Kelehear, EdD, vice provost for instruction, are excited to announce this year’s call for collaborative research proposals addressing issues in rural health
Applications are open now through February 1 for up to six $10,000 grants for collaborative research projects.
The Converge symposium is an annual event featuring rural health experts from Augusta University, the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, and The University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University in Scotland. As a multidisciplinary conference, Converge was created to encourage joint research between the four universities, exchange programs for faculty and students and potentially even joint certificates and degrees with a focus on rural health.
“Last year we had a tremendous response to our call for research projects, and we were able to provide support to four collaborative partnerships that investigate issues around access to care, experiential learning, and connectivity in rural communities,” MacKinnon said.
“The four funded projects that were selected have set a high bar for what we expect in applications moving forward. Each funded project must involve at least one partner from each side of the Atlantic, and those who are funded must agree to speak about their project at the fall 2023 Rural Health Symposium to be hosted by Robert Gordon University.”
The four research projects that were awarded grants from the Office of the Provost at Augusta University following the inaugural Converge symposium included:
- “Remote Rural Nursing Practice International Collaboration (RNPIC) between Augusta University’s College of Nursing (AU CON) and Robert Gordon University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice (RGU SNMP),” submitted by Colleen Walters, DNP, and Carol Hunter, DNP, of Augusta University and Heather Bain, EdD; Debbie Wilson and Jane Mair from Robert Gordon University
“Health Care Student Rural Experience Learning in Scotland and Georgia,” submitted by Nancy Havas, MD, associate dean for Learner Affairs at the Medical College of Georgia; Laura Chalmers, head of the Centre for Collaborative and Interprofessional Practice at Robert Gordon University; Denise Kornegay, associate dean for Georgia Statewide AHEC; and Kathryn Martin, PhD, associate dean for Regional Campus Coordination at MCG
“Impact of an international interprofessional education experience designed to equip future health care professionals with skills to care for rural and marginalized populations,” submitted by Elena Prendergast, DNP, assistant professor of nursing at Augusta University; Devin Lavender, PharmD, clinical assistant professor of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Georgia; and Laura Chalmers, head of the Center of Employability and Community Engagement at Robert Gordon University
- “A comparative study of associations between time to first antenatal appointment and preterm births in rural Georgia and rural Scotland,” submitted by Preethi Reddi, a student at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and Joanna Shim, a research fellow at Robert Gordon University
The four research groups presented their findings at this year’s Converge symposium.
Any individual or group from Augusta University, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, University of Aberdeen or Robert Gordon University is invited to develop joint applications. The research projects can focus on, but are not limited to, clinical practice, health care delivery, research in rural health context, education for rural health care and artistic representation from a rural perspective.
The Office of the Provost at Augusta University will assign a Converge Application Review Committee for application review and award decisions. Awards granted will be managed by Augusta University’s Department of Sponsored Programs Administration. Applicants will be notified of award decisions by April 2023.
Eligibility criteria for the grant funding are as follows:
- Applications must have at least one principal investigator (PI) from AU or UGA and one from The University of Aberdeen or Robert Gordon University.
- The PI, if from AU, must hold a faculty appointment in one of the 10 colleges or schools of Augusta University.
- For each award where there is no PI from Augusta University, the application must identify at least one AU employee to serve as administrator for financial accounting.
- Funded researchers must agree to present, either in person or virtually, completed or emerging outcomes at the Fall 2022 Rural Health Symposium to be hosted by Robert Gordon University.
- Preference will go to those faculty and staff members who participated in the 2021 Converge Rural Health Symposium.
- Additional administrative requirements may apply for proposed clinical studies that engage human subject research.
- Activity for which funding is requested must be completed between April 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.