Supporting (aka, Funding!) Interdisciplinary Collaboration

By Mike Mackert

 One of the most unique and gratifying parts of health communication research and practice is the opportunity – requirement, almost – for interdisciplinary collaboration. This is one reason I’m excited about two Center for Health Communication programs and the kind of work they will fund and support in the coming years.

The Health Communication Scholars Program (HCSP) is a grant writing training program designed to help graduate students across campus learn how to secure funding for their health communication research. Health communication scholars are increasingly being asked to compete for and secure the funding to pursue their research, and this program is an important training opportunity for graduate students. An evaluation of the HCSP (Applied Grant Writing Training for Future Health Communication Researchers: The Health Communication Scholars Program) was published in the leading journal Health Communication. The HCSP will award up to four $2,000 awards to graduate student teams this academic year.

The Communication for Health, Empathy, and Resilience (CHER) grant program is new for the 2017-18 academic year. The goal of the program is to promote collaboration between Moody College of Communication and Dell Medical School faculty in their evidence-based health communication scholarship, education, and community involvement endeavors. Grants will be awarded to teams of faculty and students to conduct pilot projects investigating communication’s key role in promoting wellness, creating a culture of empathy among healthcare providers, and enabling people to resist and recover from illness or injury.

CHER will award approximately $20,000 in the inaugural 2017-18 grant cycle, which will be awarded to an as-yet determined number of grantees. A CHC-sponsored Moody College of Communication/Dell Medical School networking and CHER launch event is scheduled for September 14, 2:30 - 3:30pm in the Dell Med Board Room (HLB 5.201).

I’m excited for the work these programs will fund this academic year. More broadly, I know that all of the connections these programs can help facilitate will strengthen connections among faculty and graduate students across campus and lead to all kinds of new exciting health communication endeavors. If you’re interested in seeing who is already involved in the CHC, please check out our growing list of CHC affiliates and e-mail Mike Mackert if you are interested in becoming a CHC affiliate.

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