Grand Challenges Strategic Allocation

In 2015, WSU leadership made a strategic decision to invest $30 million of internal funding in promising research and student initiatives. The Strategic Reallocation program ran for 5 years (2016–2020). It was an integral part of WSU’s Drive to 25 and Grand Challenges initiatives, capitalizing on the institution’s fundamental research and education strengths to achieve broad societal impact.

The Strategic Reallocation program began with a rigorous peer-reviewed proposal competition. Through the process, the Vice President for Research selected 6 multi-disciplinary research projects. The projects expanded federal research funding, increased impactful publications and commercialization activities, and boosted faculty recruitment. HERC’s grant-winning proposal:

Research Collaborative for Addressing Health Disparities: A Multilevel Approach to Health Risks and Resilience

Also referred to as Health Equity Research Collaborative
($4,127,320 over 5 years)
Persistent and damaging health disparities due to poverty and discrimination represent a crucial problem at the intersection of 2 of WSU’s grand challenges: Opportunity and Equity and Sustaining Health. We are establishing a center of excellence that will conduct cutting-edge research on the determinants of health disparities across biological, behavioral, family, and community levels, and create partnerships with communities and health systems in the design and evaluation of interventions in a culturally-sensitive and scalable manner.

Our team, which spans the College of Arts & Sciences, Human Development and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine across multiple campuses, will dramatically increase WSU’s capacity to examine how the biological and social determinants of health disparities interact, and how they can be addressed at the individual and community levels. An important element of our strategy will be to investigate resilience factors that allow some individuals and communities to achieve good health despite significant adversity. Our collaborative will target the intersecting issues of stress, nutrition, poverty, race, and health, which are identified as major priorities of the National Institutes of Health. Our goal is to create the interdisciplinary collaborations necessary to make WSU a national leader in advancing opportunity and sustaining health through the elimination of health disparities.