In the fall of 2021, Augusta University partnered with The University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University in Scotland, as well as the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, to host an inaugural international rural health symposium.
This virtual multidisciplinary conference, Converge International Rural Health Symposium, was held in October and was the first step in a collaboration that may include future joint research, exchange programs for faculty and students and potentially even joint certificates and degrees with a focus on rural health, according to Dr. Neil J. MacKinnon, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Augusta University.
During the Converge symposium, MacKinnon announced the Office of the Provost would offer grant funding for investigations into rural health issues to 10 collaborative research projects, each up to $10,000.
“The purpose of this funding opportunity is to invite and support multi-disciplinary collaborative partnerships that investigate issues around access to care, experiential learning, and connectivity in rural communities,” MacKinnon said. “Each funded project must involve at least one partner from each side of the Atlantic, and that those who are funded must agree to speak about their project at the Fall 2022 Rural Health Symposium to be hosted by Robert Gordon University.”
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.
Applications for the grant funding can be submitted from Jan. 10 through March 1. A formal call for proposals will be submitted in January with an application link and guidance for submission. In the meantime, Augusta University encourages collaborators to begin considerations in anticipation of the formal submission in January.
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 Program Administration. Applicants will be notified of award decisions by April 1.
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 July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.
The formal call for applications with application link and guidance for submission will be available by Jan. 10.