2019 CCIA Administrative Supplements Projects

Accelerating Rural Research Engagement Through a Biorepository Approach

University of Iowa

Principal Investigators: Patricia L. Winkour, M.D. and Marlan R. Hansen, M.D.

The University of Iowa CTSA hub proposes to partner with the University of Alabama Birmingham and the University of Minnesota CTSAs to expand participation in the Iowa’s Maternal Fetal Tissue Bank by recruiting more rural and ethnically diverse populations within Iowa, Alabama and Minnesota. This project will:

  • Acquire maternal blood and urine, cord blood, and placental tissue and the clinical data about the long-term health of the mother and child, providing the opportunity to conduct research across the lifespan;
  • Develop novel tools such as e-consent and research education resources that can accelerate recruitment processes;
  • Expand relationships with rural hospitals and clinics across the Midwest as well as other hubs to enhance representation of populations who traditionally may otherwise not be included in studies such as diverse and underrepresented populations, and
  • Provide more information on best strategies for recruitment in rural populations and best strategies for e-consent for recruitment.

This project has the potential to accelerate rural research engagement via e-consent methodologies and provide online site-agnostic educational materials that can be distributed to clinics and hospitals to accelerate common IRB and contracting processes. While this biorepository is initially focused on obstetrics, its approach to access rural populations. The outcomes of this project have the potential to be broadly applied and the biosample and data repository resource developed may be used to study long-term health of participants and enable the development of new technologies and therapies for various diseases.

Community Reviewer Training Program in the CTSA Program

University of Southern California

Principal Investigators: Thomas A. Buchanan, M.D. and Michele D. Kipke, Ph.D.

The immediate goal of the Community Reviewer Training Program (CTRP) is to implement and assess a scalable process that allows representatives of communities – whose primary affiliation is non-academic, non-research community-based organizations affected by a disease or condition – to meaningfully participate in reviewing pilot grant research proposals. The investigators will identify the most effective approaches to integrating community reviewers into the grant review process to create a culture of learning for academic and community reviewers that adds value to pilot grants. The CTSA CTRP will be implemented across a consortium of five CTSA Program hubs (University of Southern California, University of Arkansas for Medical Science, The Ohio State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of California at Irvine). The project aims to:

  • Implement an integrative and innovative community reviewer training program developed and validated at Arkansas;
  • Increase the knowledge of community representatives regarding the meaning of research and how their participation in grant review enhances the rigor and impact of funded pilot grant applications; and
  • Implement and evaluate the impact of this training on community reviewers’ knowledge of the grant review process and the qualitative contribution of the community reviewers to the quality and impact of work funded.

The project has the potential to enhance the review process across the CTSA Program consortium and other funding agencies and change the culture of grant review, through the systematic integration of community perspectives on clinical and translational science research projects.

Dissemination and Implementation of the Science Café Model to Engage Communities in Science, Health and Research

University of Minnesota

Principal Investigators: Bruce R. Blazar, M.D. and Daniel J. Weisdorf, M.D.

This project explores the Science Café as a way to engage communities from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds in discussions about science, health and research. In this project, Minnesota and Mayo – with community partners WellShare International and Community-University Health Care Center – seek to engage communities and stakeholders to enhance the translation of research into practice and to improve healthcare delivery across the lifespan and to diverse populations. They will:

  • Determine whether Cafés improves attendee’s health and scientific literacy;
  • Identify words and concepts that are difficult for community partners to translate and create new strategies to overcome translational challenges; and
  • Iteratively translate and disseminate information learned from the Cafés to a digital platform.

This project will create understanding of the linguistic processes used by different communities to develop key messages that could ultimately engage special populations in clinical and translational science research. The digital platform adds scalability and reach to the targeted populations.

A Collaborative Approach to Advancing Clinical Research Workforce Development Through Standardized Training, Implementation, and Evaluation

Pennsylvania State University Hershey Medical Center

Principal Investigator: Lawrence I. Sinoway, M.D.

The Pennsylvania State University CTSA Program hub and the University of Mississippi Medical Center, a partner of the University of Alabama at Birmingham CTSA Program hub, propose to adapt and implement standardized orientation and professional development programming for research support staff to support a variety of studies and trials that has been developed and tested in the Mayo CTSA Program hub. The project will provide:

  • Programming aimed to increase knowledge and skills necessary to coordinate clinical research protocols while working cooperatively within a research team;
  • An overview of the basics of clinical research including regulatory and compliance, roles and responsibilities, and activities related to the overall conduct and coordination of a research protocol;
  • A mentorship program will encourage continuous learning for research support staff, and
  • Resources to support the coordination of protocols, including introduction to key institutional research contacts and a platform through which staff can manage future educational needs and questions.

The 10-day onboarding orientation consists of approximately 20 hours of online modules, 20 hours of facilitated topics and activities, and 40 hours of on-the-job training with a workplace mentor in the staff’s work unit. Standardized research support information and continued professional education to research staff will be delivered through a web-based platform and the DIAMOND portal for further dissemination beyond the three hubs.