UT School of Nursing Awarded $2.4 Million NIH Grant to Launch Collaborative Research Center

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing will use a $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a new collaborative research center designed to improve the health of individuals, families and communities.

The Center for Trans-Disciplinary Collaborative Research in Self-Management Science (TCRSS) will provide an environment to strengthen and expand collaborative intervention research in nursing and more than 14 other disciplines including medicine, education, engineering, law, technology, business, pharmacy and social work to establish an infrastructure for trans-disciplinary research. UT Austin is one of two universities to be selected for this award.

Serving as a national model, the center will also include a community engagement core to facilitate meaningful participation of community organizations and other health care institutions to solve multiethnic, community-based health care problems.

"Today, nursing science is situated at the heart of health care transformation. The U.S. population is growing older and becoming more diverse, technological advances are spreading rapidly and widely, and the core conditions of people's daily lives are changing dramatically," said Miyong Kim, director of the Center for TCRSS and associate vice president for community health engagement with the university's Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. "Our goal is to develop, test and disseminate innovative solutions that acknowledge and incorporate these changes in order to improve health outcomes."

Much of the research will focus on patient self-management strategies, which are designed to help people with one or more chronic conditions, such as hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, understand how their health problems affect their lives and gain confidence in controlling their symptoms and achieving good health-related outcomes.

Effective self-management strategies are an essential prerequisite for evidence-based, patient-centered care. Nurse scientists have long recognized the need for such strategies and have led the way in establishing theoretical and practical grounds of self-management science.

The Center for TCRSS will address the urgent need to develop effective self-management strategies that merge the most innovative technical and practical methods. The center will also provide an ideal training ground for doctoral students to enrich their research training skills and become involved in collaborative research activities.

"The UT Austin School of Nursing is one of only two schools of nursing in the U.S. that has been selected for this award," said Alexa Stuifbergen, dean of the School of Nursing. "This five-year award will allow us to provide important infrastructure dedicated to facilitating trans-disciplinary collaborative research. Such collaboration will not only yield cutting-edge science, it will closely fit the actual clinical environment of health care and be readily applicable to clinical practice for the improvement of health."