Population Health

Collaboration support

The Population Health Initiative seeks to support faculty, students and staff in conducting interdisciplinary, collaborative work across the University. The following resources are intended to support such collaboration.

Faculty networking sessions

Faculty networking sessionThe Population Health Initiative periodically organizes and hosts faculty networking sessions during the academic year.

The main objective of these sessions is to introduce faculty members to individuals in other disciplines at the university who are working on similar issues, with the goal of facilitating new, interdisciplinary collaborations.

Sessions that have been held to date have focused on topics such as:

Notifications of future networking sessions are distributed via the initiative’s electronic newsletter. You can receive these mailings by adding yourself to the initiative’s distribution list via our subscriptions page.

Community engagement resources

The impact of academic research in improving population health is ever more powerful if institutions and researchers engage meaningfully with communities that the research is intended to benefit. The Population Health Initiative is committed to supporting UW faculty, students and staff in their efforts to bi-directionally and equitably partner with communities in their research and scholarship.

The University of Washington is recognized for its institutional commitment to community engagement through the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification. The initiative’s evaluation plan also highlights the importance of community engagement in explicitly measuring collaborative and community-based activities as key factors that contribute to the success of the initiative. Our guidance on how initiative-funded projects should be evaluated also calls out community engagement as a key consideration developing project-specific metrics for success.

UW groups and resources

Numerous resources and publications discuss known best practices for engaging in community based participatory research or community-academic partnerships. Below is a sample of a few groups at the UW who can offer guidance on appropriate ways to engage with communities.

Indigenous Wellness Research Institute
The Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI) is dedicated to supporting innovative, culture-centered, interdisciplinary and collaborative social and behavioral research and education. They have developed a core set of Principles of Partnership that act as a guide to developing and maintaining relationships with partners. IWRI also hosts a number of research resources that can be used for community-engaged research, including a research ethics curriculum, research templates and an interactive Community Based Participatory Research Conceptual Model.

Institute of Translational Health Sciences
The UW Institute of Translational Health Sciences facilitates community-academic research partnerships in eastern Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) to further research that addresses community- and practice-identified priorities and health outcomes through its Community Engagement Team. ITHS also offers a Community Voices Program that supports community members to submit project ideas for matching with an academic researcher. In addition, ITHS created a Community Partnership Guide for Engaging with Academic Researchers that is available for download.

Northwest Center for Public Health Practice
The Northwest Center for Public Health Practice brings together academia and practice communities, with a particular focus on public health practitioners in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Services include courses, evaluation templates and evidence-based practical tools for community engaged-research. This article describes key principles of community based participatory research applied to public health.

External resources

Campus Community Partnerships for Health
Promotes health equity and social justice through partnerships between communities and academic institutions. A number of opportunities for training are available, including an online curriculum on community-based participatory research.

Community Tool Box
A free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers tips, tools and resources for taking action in communities.

An online learning network with over 1,000 courses developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention programs, grants and funded partners. A handful of community engagement education opportunities include:

Other publications, guides and reports

Data collaboration infrastructure

The initiative partnered with the UW Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology to help found and develop the UW Data Collaborative (UWDC)

The UWDC offers the infrastructure to harness innovative, but hard-to-access, data for the development of novel, high-quality research and evidence-driven policy making.

Central to the UWDC is a state-of-the art computing cluster that provides access to restrictive data in a secure and computationally sophisticated environment.

Visit the UWDC

Best practices in promotion and tenure guidelines

The Population Health Initiative seeks to bring the university community and partners together in more interdisciplinary and collaborative ways to improve the health of people here and around the world.

A potential barrier to realizing this goal is the appearance of inconsistent criteria in recognizing interdisciplinary and collaborative research, teaching, public scholarship, mentoring and community engagement for faculty promotion and tenure.

This concern, which is shared by faculty and leadership across the university, was a key focus of the UW Faculty 2050 project, an ongoing effort to strengthen the UW as a public institution of higher education.

One of the major outputs of the UW 2050 effort was the initial analysis and identification by Drs. Janine Jones and Carole Lee of some of the best practices currently being utilized to acknowledge collaborative and interdisciplinary research, teaching and community-engaged scholarship in promotion and tenure guidelines at the UW.

A sample of the best practices identified to support faculty in ensuring that collaborative and community-engaged efforts are valued include:

  • Being transparent about promotion and tenure criteria to new faculty.
  • Identifying unit-level examples of collaborative, community engaged efforts that are aligned with exemplary research and teaching and including these as appropriate metrics in promotion and tenure review process.
  • Defining the values that matter most within the unit based on current and past trends (i.e., sharing what typically drives the discussion of promotion and tenure files).
  • Identifying the range of pathways by which faculty have been successful in securing promotion and tenure (by job class).
  • Ensuring that mentoring committees establish a regular communication routine between the junior faculty member and their faculty mentors.

Read the report

Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Toolkit

An Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Toolkit was developed by the Institute for Translational Health Sciences’ Team Science Core and colleagues to aid early-career faculty, department chairs and APT committees in recognizing, supporting and rewarding interdisciplinary research and collaboration at the university.

The toolkit offers strategies, templates and exemplars, including:

  • Standardized language and definitions to incorporate into APT criteria
  • Goal/self advocacy statement
  • Curriculum vitae highlighting interdisciplinary research efforts
  • Promotion letters
  • UW structures and policies to aid interdisciplinary research

The toolkit is a living document that will be updated as more information, feedback and examples of successful promotion and tenure of team science-focused researchers are gathered.

Read the toolkit

Other resources

A number of different units across the three UW campuses are charged with supporting collaboration, including: