By Betty Davies and Rosalie Starzomski

Research and scholarship is at the nucleus of the School of Nursing’s mission and our enthusiasm for R&S continues, as a result of the continued support, contributions and ideas of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners. For the past 18 months strategies discussed during a research
retreat to enhance research and scholarship within the School were pivotal in developing R&S plans that have now been put in place.

These plans included the rejuvenation of a Research and Scholarship committee and the development of a research infrastructure. Robbyn Lanning was hired as the School’s first Coordinator for Research and Scholarship and Emma Hannah as the Administrative Assistant for the Research and Scholarship portfolio.

As a means to convey and share information about research and scholarship activities, the Communiqué research publication was developed with several editions having been completed under Robbyn’s editorial guidance. New branding was developed for R&S activities and a new tagline was established by members of the R&S committee – “Nursing: Where scholarship and practice matter.”

A successful R&S conference in June 2011 hosted keynote speaker Dr. Joy Johnson, Professor at the University of British Columbia and Scientific Director of the CIHR Gender and Health Institute. Dr. Johnson also delivered a well-attended public lecture on the evening of June 3. In addition to the committee members, several school volunteers assisted with abstract reviews, conference planning and door prize acquisition and dissemination. Attendees indicated in their evaluations that the conference was a success and suggestions were made for our next conference to be held in 2013.

Several “Research Conversations” were held during the past two years, presenting an opportunity for faculty to share their own research. Other sessions focused on helping graduate students become successful in acquisition of funding, and sessions about ways in which the School can continue to develop infrastructure for R&S activities and be involved in university wide research endeavors.

Grant, award and conference information has been compiled and distributed in large weekly emails, rather than as individual messages. Feedback from both students and faculty has been extremely positive in reducing reading time! We continue to devise systems for facilitating faculty grant application and ethics application processes.

Madeline Walker and Robbyn Lanning have developed the nursing scholar blog which is an online opportunity to bring UVic nursing students and faculty together on writing and research topics and issues; a way to dialogue, discuss, share, and build on each other’s ideas. And more plans await us—for example, participating in IdeaFest 2012 and UVic’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013; developing an updated list of grant/scholarship/fellowship opportunities; refining a process for research assistant resume tracking; creating and maintaining faculty Common CVs; and producing comprehensive faculty and staff profiles for our new school website. Our goals and activities for 2011-2012 include:

• continuing to acquire and develop resources for the school to carry out research and scholarly work;
• fostering collaboration among junior and senior faculty, sharing expertise/knowledge across the spectrum of experience;
• continuing to integrate graduate students into the research and scholarly work of faculty;
• establishing strong research and scholarship links with other Schools in HSD, the Associate Director of Research for HSD and the UVic Director for Health Education and Research;
• continuing to integrate faculty research and scholarship into teaching in the school;
• collaborating with the members of the office of VP Research regarding research initiatives on campus.

We are grateful for the enthusiasm and support for R&S activities shown by faculty, students and staff and we welcome your ongoing involvement in the months ahead.

From the 2012 Winter Communiqué