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Collaboration with the Universidad Autonόma de Tamaulipas School of Nursing Leads to Mentorship and Grant Proposals

March 15, 2017
School of Nursing

Diane Berry recently returned from another productive trip to The Universidad Autonόma de Tamaulipas School of Nursing, Tampico, Tamaulipas, México where she continued a collaboration begun in 2009 and renewed in 2016 that has strengthened the tripartite mission of research, teaching and service of both schools.

Berry has worked closely with the Directora M.C.E. Dra. Del Socorro Piñones Martínez and faculty Lidia Guadalupe Ortiz Compeán, Eunice González Reséndiz, Paulina Aquilera Pérez, Hortensia Castañeda Hidalgo, Tranquilina Gutierrez Gomez, Nora González Quirarte and Rosa Bohorquez Robles on several key initiatives, including a faculty and student research exchange; guidance for obtaining research grant funding; the development of a nursing PhD program; and conducting research studies.

Every other year, faculty from México travel to North Carolina for a two-week research stay to work with Berry and her research team and to meet with other faculty in the University with similar research interests. On the alternate years, Berry travels to México to work with faculty and students on research projects, plan grants and publications. The first student exchange took place in 2015 with two students from México traveling to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for two weeks to work with Berry in planning a grant and a manuscript and to meet with researchers across campus. In 2017, two students from UNC will be selected to go to México.

The Universidad Autonόma de Tamaulipas School of Nursing currently does not have a PhD Program, with the closest one being six hours away in Monterrey, México, so discussions are underway with both schools on the development of a program that would fit the needs of nurse scientists in México.

Berry continues to work closely with faculty in México to guide them on how to seek, create and apply for competitive research grants. She developed and led a grant writing institute that took place over five days in December 2016. Autonoma faculty research mentors, Ortiz Compeán, Castañeda Hidalgo, González Reséndiz, Aquilera Pérez, and Gutierrez Gomez also taught at the institute. At the end of the five days, ten faculty from Mexico had good first drafts for small research grants.

The two schools continue to conduct research on the grant “Diabetes Self-Management in México,” funded through Sigma Theta Tau International. Lidia Compeán Ortiz, lead multiple principal investigator, and Berry, multiple principal investigator and research mentor, will use the data from this study and data from a study Berry conducted in the United States and submit a National Institutes of Health Fogarty International grant later this year. Berry continues to work closely with faculty to develop abstracts and presentations for regional, national and international conferences and to provide assistance in developing and editing manuscripts. She also serves on student master’s committees in México.

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