A wide variety of tools and resources are available to help researchers find funding opportunities, build research teams, submit competitive grant proposals and enhance their visibility in the research community. Research Development has compiled a list of helpful resources. To further explore College of Medicine resources, visit the College of Medicine’s research home page
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Pure, an Elsevier product, is a searchable database that captures the scholarship of more than 5,400 researchers at Penn State and allows users to identify potential collaborators and mentors at more than 250 other institutions that utilize Pure. Pure provides detailed information on scholarly output, publications, networks, citation data from journals and social media citations.
Penn State College of Medicine faculty with a professorial rank at any level have a Pure profile created automatically within 1-2 months following their hire. Publications and citations from Scopus begin to filter to Pure profiles automatically after the new profile goes through Elsevier’s refinement process, which happens approximately once per quarter. Pure profiles are one of the highest-ranked Google search results for an investigator’s name. Because of this, regular review of the included information, and the addition of details on research interests, clinical interests, prizes and institute affiliations, are a great way to boost online presence.
ResearchGate is a social networking site designed specifically for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. ResearchGate also has a blog that allows users to write reviews on peer-reviewed articles, post a research question, or share information in private chat rooms. ResearchGate site membership is limited to academics with an email address at a recognized institution.
NIH RePORTER allows users to search a repository of project abstracts, resulting publications and patents from NIH-funded research, as well as funded research from several other federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). RePORTER includes both active and expired award data from 1991 to the present. RePORTER can help identify funded researchers and potential mentors/collaborators in your field. The advanced search tool allows users to narrow their searches in a multitude of ways, including but not limited to awarding agency/institute, state, organization, and funding mechanism. The website provides a guided tour for new users.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit research organization that was created by Congress through the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. PCORI is the leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) in the United States. The vast majority of the research that PCORI funds is for CER projects, but PCORI also promotes engagement in research, dissemination and implementation projects, methodology research, and the development of research infrastructure. PCORI issues funding announcements several times each year.
PCORI maintains a fairly robust research portfolio that includes both ongoing and completed projects it has funded since 2012. Users can filter results by status (e.g. completed, ongoing), funding type, research priority area, year, etc. By exploring PCORI’s research portfolio, you can identify funded researchers and potential mentors/collaborators in your field.
The Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Penn State CTSI) offers expert advising services free to the Penn State community. Topics include, but are not limited to, biostatistical and epidemiological methodologies, study design, data management and analysis, and research ethics. The process begins when the user — faculty, staff or student — fills out the research request form.
The Research Navigator with CTSI reviews the forms and reaches out to researchers to provide support. Researchers are welcome to submit the form at any stage in the research process.
Penn State College of Medicine has shared-service core research facilities that provide specialized instrumentation and analytical services for the conduct of basic, clinical and translational research. The Biomedical Research Core Facilities are subsidized by Institutional Funds and overseen by a Faculty Advisory Committee. Visit the website to explore the capabilities of all core facilities at the College of Medicine.
Established in 2019 and housed under the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Penn State CTSI), the Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Core (QMMC) is a fee for service core that is dedicated to the performance of rigorous qualitative and mixed-methods research for Penn State University faculty and external researchers. The QMMC offers three service lines to faculty members:
- study design/consultation, including choosing an appropriate research design and research question, developing analysis plans, and other faculty-led design considerations;
- education/training, including workshops on interviewing, mixed methods matrix design, qualitative research methods, coding, theming and workshops for a specific research project; and
- implementation services, including three full-time staff members who can assist with preparing grant applications, budgets, qualitative aspects of IRB preparation, interviewing processes, qualitative software training, and methods sections on manuscripts.
The Community Health Equity & Engagement Research (CHEER) program is a partnership between the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at Penn State. The CHEER program promotes community-engaged research (CEnR) across Penn State, spanning many disciplines, with the overall goal of enhancing wellness and reducing health disparities. It serves as the landing place for faculty who seek to engage communities in their research and for community organizations and members to engage with Penn State expertise.
The CHEER team developed a toolkit to serve as a guide for research and education teams to learn about the importance of CEnR, guiding CEnR principles to support meaningful engagement, and strategies to develop and maintain successful community-academic partnerships.
The Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Community-Engaged Research Core (CERC) offers a variety of tools for researchers geared specifically towards working with patients, advocates and community members and organizations to improve and enhance research.
The mission of the Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) is to provide a service-oriented organization within the Penn State system to drive economic and social value from Penn State medical innovation. The Center provides guidance and support to streamline the process of moving innovative technologies through the commercialization pipeline to industry, to make a positive economic and social impact in the community.
Centers at Penn State College of Medicine are multidisciplinary, collaborative entities that must include faculty members from multiple departments and must encompass at least two of the College’s core missions: clinical, research, education, and community outreach. All centers must have either research or education as one of their core missions.
Penn State’s interdisciplinary institutes promote collaboration across departmental boundaries to focus research strengths on vital scientific questions and pressing societal needs.
Penn State Harrisburg is a comprehensive college in southcentral Pennsylvania that offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs. Penn State Harrisburg recognizes several centers and institutes that collaborate with various departments and campuses to support research.
The Institute of State and Regional Affairs (ISRA) is unique among Harrisburg’s institutes and centers. It is 100 percent externally funded and conducts approximately $2 million in sponsored research activity each year. The Institute has 15 full-time staff and approximately 10 part-time staff including student workers and interns. The ISRA is comprised of the following:
Pennsylvania State Data Center – The Commonwealth’s official source of population and socio-economic data. Data solutions include: data acquisition and analysis, custom programming, mapping and geospatial services, and data visualizations (digital dashboards, etc.).
Center for Survey Research – Provides a full array of qualitative and quantitative survey research services and data solutions, including: study and instrument design, surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, data preparation, and data analysis.
ISRA Integrated Technology Center – Develops online custom information systems and provides technology support for other centers’ efforts.
The clinical research guidebook has been developed for faculty and staff members engaged in clinical research at Penn State College of Medicine/Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. It has been adapted from the materials created and released by The Clinical Trials Resource Group at the University of California – Davis CTSC.
LionVu is a web mapping and data portal to assist Penn State Cancer Institute (PSCI) investigators and trainees with developing funding proposals, exploring hypotheses, and contributing to publications. LionVu allows clinical and population researchers to visualize and utilize health data at various levels of aggregation and geographical scales. It has over 400 data variables with separate displays for Pennsylvania and the PSCI’s 28-county catchment area.
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, web-based application for databases and online surveys for research purposes. In collaboration with the Survey Research Center (SRC) at University Park and the College of Medicine, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute offers up to 10 hours of free consultation for data management, database development and for REDCap implementation, provided to you by a team of programmers and analysts. Consultations are limited to funded Penn State investigators or staff/students who are supporting an investigator with funded research, for Penn State CTSI-funded pilot projects and for K and T scholars. This service is only offered once per investigator/study team.
Training is required to gain access to the REDCap application. Training is available through online tutorials.
TriNetX is a web-based tool for research population cohort and feasibility queries that also enables researchers to collaborate with peers at other member institutions. Through TriNetX, users search for patients meeting specified criteria in a de-identified database, without prior Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Data are presented as unique patient counts, and a patient is counted only once. Data in TriNetX excludes patients with only a medical record number or without diagnoses or codes. Such a search can help researchers determine whether enough potential patients are available to properly conduct a research study. With IRB approval and an enterprise information management request, patient-level data can be requested. TriNetX has a user-friendly graphical interface and dedicated customer service that can help with creating queries.
Keep in mind that TriNetX accounts are free, but must be authorized by Information Services. The account request form requires manager approval. Authorization requests will be sent separately to the manager noted on the request form and upon receipt of manager approval, access will be provided. Accounts Management and Cyber Security regulations do not permit Information Services to authorize self-approved access to any of its applications. For faculty members, it is recommended that the Department Chair or Division Chief be listed as the manager on the account request form.
Penn State CTSI, in partnership with the College of Medicine, launched a Research Recruitment Toolkit in Summer 2023. This online toolkit is available to researchers and research teams throughout the University, with some specific guidance for College of Medicine research teams, as their recruitment efforts may utilize Penn State Health systems and channels, in addition to others.
The Research Recruitment Toolkit provides background and best practices for human subjects recruitment efforts, as well as tools and templates that may be used at Penn State to support research teams’ efforts to achieve their study recruitment goals. Additional tools and templates will be added to the site in the future.
StudyFinder is Penn State’s clinical research study database. It allows research participants to create a personalized profile and receive communications about available research studies that match their submitted medical conditions or demographics. Research teams can also utilize this tool as a resource for research recruitment. Penn State researchers interested in learning more about utilizing this new resource for research recruitment are encouraged to email the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Penn State CTSI) at email@example.com.
Research Compliance & Safety
Ensuring the safety and integrity of research performed at the College of Medicine is integral to the responsible conduct of research. The College of Medicine helps to ensure research compliance and safety through by providing oversight in several areas.
The Animal Resources Program supports biomedical research at the College of Medicine by providing exceptional animal care, delivering state-of-the-art veterinary services, offering guidance for regulatory matters, and supplying practical animal-use training.
The healthcare environment provides many opportunities for exposure to biological hazards, and the Biological Safety Program offers training and resources to prevent exposure. It is important to understand the hazards associated with biological agents and how to prevent exposure to faculty, staff, students, health system patients and visitors.
Nearly every work environment at Penn State College of Medicine or Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center contains some form of hazardous chemical. The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and the Pennsylvania State “Right-To-Know” Law mandate that you are aware of the chemical hazards in your work environment and be trained to minimize the risks they present, and information is available through the Safety Department.
As the ties between industry and academic medicine strengthen, and as translational research and the opportunities for technology transfer increase, so do the opportunities for real or apparent conflict between the personal financial interests of clinicians, educators, and investigators and their professional responsibilities. The Conflict of Interest Program and the Conflict of Interest Review Committee (CIRC) are responsible for determining when actual or potential conflict of interest does exist, and for eliminating, reducing, or managing the conflict in such a way as to encourage, support, and protect all legitimate research efforts as well as the integrity of our faculty.
The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is responsible for oversight and evaluation of the animal care and use program and its components. Its functions include inspection of facilities, evaluation of programs and animal-activity areas; submission of reports to responsible institutional officials; review of proposed uses of animals in research, testing, or education (i.e. protocols); and establishment of a mechanism for receipt and review of concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution.
The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) administers the institutional program to protect individuals who participate in research, provides administrative support to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and assists faculty and staff to promote the protection of the participants of research. HRPP staff provide guidance to investigators in the proposal process, design and conduct of human subjects research; develop educational resources and programs for research staff; and review research for quality purposes and compliance with applicable federal law and local policies.
The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) hosts quarterly webinars to provide relevant IRB updates and news. These quarterly webinars are open to faculty, staff, and students across the University. Slides and recordings are made available on the website following each webinar. The HRPP also offers optional training throughout the year on a variety of topics, including an introduction to CATS IRB and step-by-step guidance on how to develop a protocol for submission to the IRB.
The Radiation Safety Program or Health Physics Program (internal access only) at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been developed by the Radiation Safety Committee, giving guidelines for certain aspects of the radiation safety program. The Health Physics Office oversees all activities involving radiation sources and is empowered to take whatever steps are necessary to protect patients, visitors, employees and the facility from unnecessary and potentially harmful radiation exposure and costly decontamination measures.
The primary mission of the Research Quality Assurance Office is to support the planning and conduct of both clinical research and basic laboratory research being conducted at Penn State College of Medicine. This mission is fulfilled by working with investigators to help them identify gaps that might negatively impact their research and assist them by making recommendations to eliminate these gaps. This support is provided to aid investigators in conducting research as required by regulatory authorities, to ensure that laboratory research follows acknowledged best practices, and that research fulfills promises to study volunteers and with due respect for laboratory animals.
Research communication takes many forms depending upon what you are trying to say – and to what audience(s). Penn State College of Medicine’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications oversees the college’s internal and external communications. In collaboration with leadership, Marketing and Communications guides the marketing plan and messaging of the college, manages the websites, online tools and social media presence of the college, engages with media to help promote the college’s efforts in research and education through both news coverage and paid advertising, and produces marketing collateral, including brochures, print and digital signage, TV and radio ads, promotional handout materials and more, in keeping with institutional brand standards.
If you have an event, a program, a conference, a new research project or a grant, or want to create a website, Marketing and Communications has resources you can use.
The Conversation is an independent, nonprofit source of news and views written by the academic and research community, delivered directly to the public. Its editors are generally looking for stories about breakthroughs as well as stories that relate to current events. Penn State academics who write for The Conversation receive their own faculty biography page, access to The Conversation’s staff of professional editors and access to readership analytics for their articles. Past articles written by Penn State faculty are archived on the University’s Conversation landing page.
The Conversation has a Creative Commons license, which means its articles can be republished for free by media outlets around the world. As a result, articles can wind up being republished by The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, Scientific American and more than 22,000 other outlets.
To publish a story, you first need to sign up to be an author and then pitch your idea to the editors. There is a short video tutorial on how the process works.
Faculty with topics of interest should contact Zach Sweger, Public Relations Specialist for the Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications at the College of Medicine (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Google Scholar provides a simple way to enhance visibility. Its Profiles feature functions as a landing page for publications, but that functionality only works if the profile is set to “public.” Double-check profile visibility by logging in and, at the top of the main page, confirming that it reads “My profile is public” beneath the affiliation information.
If that does not appear, click the “Edit” button at the top of the profile, select “My profile is public,” and then click “Save.”