CHER Grant Program: Round 2 in 2018-19

By Mike Mackert

Whenever I teach a new course, I feel like it takes three times to get it working the way I really want it to. It’s almost impossible to get everything right the first time through, from how assignments are structured to running in-class assignments.

I’ve found the same to be true in many things at UT, but the Center for Health Communication (CHC) pilot grant program (CHER: Communication for Health, Empathy, and Resilience) worked almost exactly as designed in its inaugural cycle for 2017-18. It helps that there were a lot of useful models of how to do this on campus that we could learn from, including the CHC’s own Health Communication Scholars Program for graduate students.

The purpose of CHER is to facilitate health communication research at UT, with a primary requirement being that each team includes a Moody College of Communication faculty member and a Dell Medical School faculty member. The program in 2018-19 will work almost exactly like last year – a networking event to help people meet, awarding approximately $20,000 – with some small adjustments to the timeline.

The three teams funded last year were studying issues ranging from lead poisoning prevention to empathetic healthcare to enrollment in clinical trials. One of the exciting things was hearing from all those teams that working with new interdisciplinary collaborators helped them think differently about their health and communication research and practice. That is exactly what CHER was designed to do.

As last year’s teams pursue the research supported by CHER grants, we’re excited to see new teams form and apply for funding in this 2018-19 cycle. We hope to see new colleagues at the CHER networking event (Dell Med Board Room: HLB 5.201 from 2:30-3:30pm) and look forward to all the exciting funding proposals that will be coming our way.