What’s New in Grants?

The College of Nursing had nine new proposals submitted in June for a total of $4,062,327 in requested funding.  Eight proposals were submitted in Spokane and one in Vancouver.

The Research Office is here to help you with your submission. If you will be a co-investigator on a proposal with someone in another department/college, please let Kathy Bridwell in the Nursing Research Office know. Also be sure that Kathy and Brett Oglesbee are on the eREX as department contacts, and Tamara Odom-Maryon is on the eREX as the college approver. Let us know as soon as you decide to apply as we can help you explore funding opportunities and set up regular meetings to support your submission. Contact Kathy Bridwell for more information.


Lori Brown was awarded $320,000 from HRSA, Nurse Faculty Loan Repayment Program to help prepare graduate nurses for careers as nurse educators by providing financial support to graduate students.

Lois James was awarded $189,000 (Steve James Co-I and Bryan Vila expert consultant) from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for her project that will provide online training for law enforcement to reduce risks associated with shift work and long work hours.

Connie K. Y. Nguyen-Truong, was awarded $3,000 from Washington State University Vancouver Research Mini-Grant for her work: Vietnamese Women’s Breast and Cervical Health Project, studying beliefs about breast and cervical cancer and barriers and facilitators to screening to inform the development of a culturally appropriate educational intervention.

Debbie Nogueras was awarded $341,000 (Eva Schiavenato Co-I) from HRSA, Advanced Education Nurse Traineeship to provide scholarship dollars to DNP/FNP students who commit to working in underserved communities post-graduation.

Debbie Nogueras was awarded $349,187 (Co-Is: Lori Brown and Eric Johnson) from HRSA, Nursing Pathways: Community Alliance for Health.  HRSA Workforce Diversity Grant. This award seeks to address health and educational disparities by increasing the number of disadvantaged students graduating from the BSN program that commit to providing culturally competent health care to underserved populations.

Did we miss your good news? Please let us know so we can share in our next newsletter!

Research Wisdom

“Innovation” in Grant Writing

Lois James, Ph.D.

What is innovation in grant writing and why is it important? Collectively the “significance and innovation” section of your proposal justifies the need for your study. With the exception of your specific aims page, it is perhaps the most important section of your proposal, and it needs to convince your reviewers that your idea is novel and important. Innovation is “a new/different way of considering/addressing an important problem” that also “enables new horizons in research/treatment.” Innovation should be woven throughout your entire proposal, starting with the conceptualization of your project.

The first step in ensuring innovation in grant writing is to be up to date with the existing literature. It is no use declaring that you are the first to conduct your proposed research if in fact you are not. My advice is to catalog prior studies on the topic, then critically synthesize the existing body of work, which will allow you to identify strengths and weaknesses in the field. From there, you will be able to specify HOW your study will address the gaps in the literature, and thus advance the science.

The next step is to make your innovation apparent in each section of your proposal – starting with the title. Consider the following examples:

“Analyzing the effects of sleep deprivation on participants shooting, driving, and cognitive performance” (I would argue that, although interesting, the innovation of this study is not readily evident in this title)

“Using novel experimental research data to better understand and manage fatigue across the range of military operations” (In this version—of the same study—the title conveys more novelty and urgency)

The next section in which innovation needs to be clear is in the specific aims page. This can be done in a very direct way, for example:

“We believe our research is innovative because the Sleep for Your Health program uses goal setting, experimentation, cooperative learning, problem solving, and active involvement to motivate adolescents to improve their sleep habits in meaningful and sustainable ways”

Or in a subtler way, for example:

“The work we propose has the potential to radically change established training practices and multiply the effectiveness of Marines and soldiers on the ground in counterinsurgency, peacekeeping, nation building and humanitarian missions.”

This brings us to the actual innovation portion of the “significance and innovation” section. Here I find it is best to follow the formula: First, cite existing literature so that reviewers have an idea of the status quo in your field. Second, directly state why you believe your work advances from the status quo (remember that to be innovative your work must result in positive impact, change, and scientific advance). Finally, discuss what new horizons will be opened as a result of your research. It is helpful to tie this back to the long-term goals of your research.

Continue to integrate your study’s innovation into the research approach (particularly if you are using a novel tool or design) and expected outcomes of your proposal.

Finally, what do you do if you have a valuable contribution that is not innovative? Remember that not all funded studies are novel and unique. Reliability in research is critical, and sometimes studies need to replicated before a particular methodology or finding can be considered the gold standard or status quo. Pursuit of this is important to, but be sure you make very clear in your proposal why your contribution will be significant.

Research FYI

WSU College of Nursing Vancouver Research

contributed by Anita Hunter

From working to improve the health of women and children and their access to clean water in Uganda, to evaluating trends in Nurse Practitioner-managed care and assessment of various conditions and diseases, our researchers are passionate about WSU’s Grand Challenges and asking questions that will help improve the health of individuals and communities. Four of our faculty received institutional mini-grants to continue their research about heavy metals in Uganda, Vietnamese breast health program, the smart homes project, and aging services technology. Our interdisciplinary approach to education and research helps us meet these challenges of sustaining health and access to resources while striving to improve the quality of life for all. For example, we have a large, interdisciplinary and interinstitutional grant targeted toward improving behavioral health for children and adolescents across the State of Washington.

Specifically, our WSU Vancouver College of Nursing faculty:

  • Strives to understand the cultural, social, and environmental determinants of optimal health
  • Engages communities, providing health education and assessments
  • Works to understand public health both locally and globally and how it relates to the onset and progression of disease.
  • Promotes healthy communities and populations by conducting research aimed at improving access to clean water, food, education, and healthcare

Learn more about the research projects and initiative our nursing scholars are engaged in:

Research – Just for Fun

body odor

Nose-witness Identification: Effects of Lineup Size and Retention Interval explores a witness’s ability to identify a suspect by their body odor.  Odor memory has longer retention and researchers found the participants were able to identify the suspect ~55% of the time.

Research Funnies

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Research Puzzle

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Recent Publications

Barron, Sara. (2016). Making the call: Reporting a cluster of cases of anencephaly. Nursing2016 46(7): 52-58.

Katz, J. R., Barbosa-Leiker, C., & Benavides-Vaello, S. (2016). Measuring the Success of a Pipeline Program to Increase Nursing Workforce Diversity. Journal of Professional Nursing. 32 (1) doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2015.05. 003.

Nogueras, D., Postma, J., & Van Son, C. (2016). Why Didn’t I Know? Perspectives from Adult Children of Elderly Parents with Dementia. Submitted to Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12382

O’Neal, G., Postma, J., Odom-Maryon, T., Butterfield, P. The household risk perception instrument and the self-efficacy in environmental risk reduction instrument: Psychometric testing using Principal Component Analyses. Research in Nursing and Health. doi: 10.1002/nur.21730. [Epub ahead of print]

Kooienga, S., Rasmor, M “Shoulder Pain Assessment for the Occupational Health Nurse” Workplace Health & Safety. June 9, 2015

Did we miss your publication? Please let us know so we can share next in the next newsletter! Please send a link to your publication to Kathy Bridwell so she can post it on the research publications board.

Recent Presentations

Washington State University College of Nursing was well represented this year at the annual Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) conference, held in Anaheim, CA.  For a complete list of those who participated please click here.

Barbosa-Leiker, C., Katz, J. R., Wynne, M., Holliday, C., Ford, C. (2016) Development of a Community Program Capacity Scale for a Rural American Indian Tribe The Western Institute of Nursing 49th Annual Communicating  Nursing Research Conference, Anaheim, CA. 

James, L. (May 2016). Differences between Implicit and Explicit Bias in Police Decisions to Shoot. Association of Psychological Science, Annual Conference, Chicago, Il.

James, L. (April 2016). Implicit Bias vs. Ferguson Effects: Findings and Implications to Date. “Can Psychology Improve Policing?” Workshop (guest speaker by invitation). Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Katz, J., Holliday, C., WSU; Spokane Tribe Community: Wynne, M., Ford, C., and Spokane Tribal Youth. Ta hec čmiš qn   mist I Will Never Give Up: Storytelling of a Community Partnership. Community Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Conference. New Orleans LA May 15, 2016.

Murphy, S.M., McPherson, S., Layton, M., & Kennedy, J. (06/27/2016). Antipsychotic utilization among Washington state dual eligibles. Academy Health Annual Research Meeting, Boston

Murphy, S.M., Campbell A.N.C., Ghitza U.E., Kyle T.L., Bailey G.L., Nunes E.V., Polsky D. (06/14/2016). Cost-effectiveness of an internet-delivered treatment for substance abuse: data from a multisite randomized controlled trial. American Society of Health Economists Sixth Biennial Conference, Philadelphia

Patricia Cox, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC, Melody Rasmor, EdD, FNP-BC, COHN-SAn Occupational Hazard of War: Musculoskeletal Injuries.  American Association of Nurse Practitioners’, San Antonio, Texas June 21, 2016

Rasmor, M. Musculoskeletal Assessment for the Occupational Health Nurse, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. Webinar Presenter June 2, 2016

Richardson, Barbara. April 18th and 19th, 2016. Promoting Interprofessional Education. Invited speaker at the ATI National Nurse Educators Summit. Nashville, TN.

Richardson, Barbara and Bray, Brenda. May 20, 2016. Boots on the ground; Putting interprofessional education into action. 6 hour workshop. Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Did we miss your presentation? Please let us know so we can share next month!

Helpful and Interesting Links

National Institute of Health (NIH) News & Events – This month they highlight a Single IRB Policy for multi-site research.

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)News and Notes” – This month they highlight Dr. Patricia Grady’s (NINR director) and Dr. Jeri Miller’s publication that addresses the future of palliative care.

The NIH Extramural News is a blog written to address current issues related to research and NIH.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) continues to provide funding and resources for improving access to health care. This month they highlight National Women’s Health Week.

Science Daily features breaking news and videos about the latest discoveries in health, technology, the environment, and more – from major news services and leading universities, scientific journals, and research organizations. – This month they share research that found the benefit’s of coffee outweigh the risks..

WSU Informer: Funding Opportunities Resource

Puzzle key: Flexibility, Range, Statistic, Inference, Neutrality, …Self-flattery