In 2010, faculty and staff at the UW-Madison School of Nursing approached two Madison community centers to discuss an opportunity to build a new and innovative academic-community partnership. Responding to a call for proposals from the National Institutes of Health, the School of Nursing and the centers submitted a proposal for an RC4 program grant Building Sustainable Community-Linked Infrastructure to Enable Health Science Research.
In July 2010, the School of Nursing received award notification and launched Project WINNERS: Wisconsin Network for New Employment and Research Support. The project received additional support from the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. The goal of Project WINNERS was to establish a statewide research support network that would link communities with researchers to 1) increase the number and quality of health research studies in Wisconsin communities experiencing poor health outcomes, and 2) increase employment opportunities for community members.
Major project activities during the three-year grant period included:
- Piloting and revising a model for CARDS®, Community Advisors on Research Design and Strategies
- Designing and delivering tailored training programs for community members
- Conducting local community health surveys
The three-year WINNERS grant ended June 2013, but access to the CARDS®, training programs, and other services continues through WINRS, the Wisconsin Network for Research Support.