The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has awarded $44,500 to NAU’s Cline Library for its work in the pilot cohort of NLM’s All of Us Data Training and Engagement for Academic Libraries Program.
The program aims to increase researcher capacity at NAU and other institutions by providing librarian training and support for the All of Us Researcher Workbench, a robust dataset of biomedical and public health data from a diverse group of participants from across the United States.
An NLM goal for the program is to “provide opportunities to build and strengthen the research capacity of libraries at institutions with a historic and current commitment to, or track record of, educating underrepresented students.”
“In the extensive training on the Researcher Workbench we had, we saw a lot of untapped potential for the dataset, especially for researchers focused on health in diverse populations,” Pamela Buzzard, lead for Cline Library’s project team, said. “The research they can do with this dataset now could have a big impact on health in the future.”
Buzzard said NAU’s designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution contributed to NLM’s selection of Cline Library to be among 15 academic libraries in the pilot.
“I think our invitation from NLM shows that they’re focused on increasing diversity of future researchers, not just the future of research on diverse populations,” Buzzard said.
An All of Us guide for faculty and student researchers at NAU has been created by Buzzard and fellow project team members Brittany Blanchard and Bridget Wipf. Aside from developing and sharing information and training related to the use of the Researcher Workbench, the team has a growing list of actions planned, including collaborations:
- With the Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative (SHERC) to provide training workshops for faculty researchers with plans to adapt those trainings for undergraduate and graduate students
- With the Teaching and Learning Center to convene a Spring 2024 Ethics in Human Research Learning Community and provide professional development funding for faculty
- With the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity to connect students with research opportunities that leverage the data
Buzzard said the project team also looks forward to the time down the road when they will be able to share information about how All of Us data has been used by students, faculty and researchers at NAU.