The School of Nursing has been awarded an Institutional National Research Service Award, “Interventions for Preventing and Managing Chronic Illness.” This five-year grant began in September 1996 and was renewed in 2001 for an additional five years. A second Institutional National Service Award entitled “Research-Training: Health Care Quality and Patient Outcomes” was funded in September 2004 for five years. These grants each provide tuition, book and research allowance, stipend and related support for predoctoral trainees and postdoctoral fellows.
Interventions to Prevent and Manage Chronic Illness
The purpose of this program is to prepare nurse researchers with a subspecialty in the development and testing of theory-based nursing interventions to prevent and/or manage chronic illness, especially in vulnerable and minority populations. Nursing intervention is composed of a three-phase process: (a) assessment to identify the factors amenable to change and the populations at greatest risk; (b) interventions based on theory and empirical evidence that specify the nature of treatable conditions, actions needed to attain the expected effects, the steps of the change process and anticipated outcomes; and (c) the measurement of desired outcomes and other factors affecting the outcome. Interdisciplinary collaboration is an important theme in both the predoctoral and postdoctoral programs.
The predoctoral program prepares a beginning researcher with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and test nursing interventions in areas in which the assessment of the problem has been widely studied. This program builds on the current doctoral program by providing substantive content in the nursing management and prevention of chronic illness, research experience with ongoing studies, a 9 credit area of concentration outside nursing, and 6 credits of electives. Four new predoctoral students are funded each year for two years.
The postdoctoral program prepares an investigator with the skills to conduct intervention studies in areas that are more complex due to the necessity of an interdisciplinary perspective or the need for sophisticated analytic techniques or novel conceptualizations. Postdoctoral fellows will work with experienced faculty researchers on ongoing intervention and assessment studies of chronic illness, participate in an interdisciplinary postdoctoral training program in specified centers within the University, and develop a proposal for external funding. Two new postdoctoral fellows are funded each year.
Information about the predoctoral and postdoctoral program may be obtained from Merle Mishel, director, and Diane Holditch-Davis, co-director. Application materials are available from the Office of Admissions and Student Services.
Health Care Quality and Patient Outcomes
The goal of the predoctoral training program is to prepare fellows to engage in a theoretically based program of research directed at improving healthcare quality and patient outcomes. The program is multi-disciplinary in focus and is conceptualized around the Institute of Medicine’s six criteria for quality healthcare: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, equity, and efficiency. Predoctoral students can focus on quality and outcomes research throughout the lifespan and across the spectrum of care. Two new predoctoral students are funded each year for a three-year period.
The goal of the postdoctoral research training program is to prepare postdoctoral fellows, in a multidisciplinary environment, with knowledge of sophisticated theoretical frameworks, complex research designs and advanced analytical techniques that can be utilized in a program of theoretically based research to improve healthcare quality and patient outcomes. The program is conceptualized around the Institute of Medicine’s six criteria for quality healthcare: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, equity, and efficiency. Fellows can focus on quality and outcomes research throughout the lifespan and across the continuum of care. One new postdoctoral fellow is funded each year for a period of two years.
Individual National Research Award (NRSA) Pre-Doctoral Fellowships
Doctoral students wishing to pursue the option of the individual NRSA pre-doctoral fellowships available through the National Institutes for Research should complete the following steps:
- Secure an online Public Health Service application kit and obtain Research Support Center (RSC) NRSA grant application guidelines from the RSC, Room 2000 Carrington Hall.
- Identify a sponsor (a faculty member involved in major research in the field the student proposes to study). The sponsor may or may not be the academic advisor or dissertation chair.
- Prepare a proposal with sponsor.
- Gain sponsor approval and ask the sponsor to identify and document resources available in the school.
- Seek assistance from the RSC with the final preparation of the application packet. The RSC will require documentation of sponsor approval of the NRSA. If RSC assistance with the application is desired, arrangements must be made with the RSC no less than one month prior to the submission date.
- Complete: (a) UNC Internal Processing forms and (b) a School of Nursing Processing form. See the Administrative Assistant in the RSC for details.
- Gain approval signoff from the Associate Dean for Research, Doctoral Program Director, the Dean, the Office of Contracts and Grants (440 West Franklin St.) and the Office of Research Services (300 Bynum Hall).
- After final signature, copy the proposal for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and mail. The RSC can assist in mailing the application.
- File a copy of the complete proposal with the RSC, the Business Office and the Office of Academic Affairs.