Research & Education Advancement Coordination Hub (REACH)

REACH is a research and education development initiative focused on faculty development, support, mentoring and additional infrastructure to enhance the academic success of our faculty. The REACH Initiative has three major components:

The first component is focused on the R in REACH, which is Research. The goal of the Research focus of REACH is to support faculty to become independent, productive scholarly researchers, and help further advance those faculty that are already independent.

This is a brief summary of the responsibilities and the time commitment that our Distinguished Team of Research Advisors and Mentors in the REACH program will invest in working with faculty.  The Distinguished Team of Research Advisors are tenured faculty at the University of Kentucky. This research program does not supplant or duplicate programs developed within individual departments.  Effective departmental programs, if comparable to the REACH program, will take priority.  The REACH program is intended for those faculty in departments who do not have access to a formal program or for whom the department and/or REACH identifies a particular need (e.g., unique research interest not represented within the faculty’s home department).  This program also will not operate independently of chairs.  The REACH program will work with department chairs and keep chairs of the faculty in the program informed as to their progress. 

REACH Advisor and Mentor Responsibilities:

The goal of the program is two-fold:  [1] provide ongoing consultation with untenured faculty members regarding the “mechanics” of functioning as a faculty member at the University, and [2] facilitate their research development.  It is a chair’s responsibility to inform faculty of the performance evaluation process and the tenure process, but the advisor may discuss elements of these processes with the faculty member.  An advisor in the REACH program should be willing to meet with a faculty at a minimum on a biannual basis as a minimum and more frequently if circumstances or if required.

  1. An advisor in the REACH program will provide constructive criticism regarding the faculty member’s research career.  The topics will vary with the nature of the research program. 
    1. The advisor and REACH steering committee will assess the area of research to determine the innovative direction and consider whether additional research partners are helpful (that may lead to the submission of a multi-investigator grant, for example).
    2. The advisor may discuss the recruitment and evaluation of research staff (i.e., graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates), the selection of journals for publications of results, the requirements for studies involving human subjects or animals, possible collaborators in other departments, the support that core facilities can provide, the need to establish independence in publications from prior research directors/mentors, the purchasing system and grants accounting, and the importance of protecting valuable intellectual property. 
    3. The advisor will review the faculty member’s draft manuscripts, if requested, and discuss possible journals that the faculty may consider.  Of particular importance, the advisor will work with the faculty member to develop a schedule for the submission of extramural grant applications, will review draft grant applications in detail, and will make helpful suggestions with respect to appropriate agencies.
  2. Regarding teaching, the advisor in the REACH program will provide constructive criticism.  Together, they will review student comments about courses taught by the faculty member and discuss options for improving teaching.  The advisor will attend at least one class taught by the faculty member as part of this responsibility.
  3. An advisor will provide guidance with respect to the service responsibilities and the time commitments that different service opportunities may require.
  4. An advisor will encourage faculty members to participate actively in their professional fields by attending and presenting at national and international meetings.  Faculty may be asked to present the current status of their research programs at REACH luncheon meetings.
  5. Advisors will provide information, formally or informally, biannually to a faculty’s chair regarding progress and any other pertinent issues that affect their professional development. 

The team of accomplished researchers selected to serve as Distinguished Research Advisors will work with College of Medicine faculty to encourage and promote research and educational pursuits of our faculty.

Our Distinguished Team of Reach (Research) Advisors Include the Following Dedicated Steering Committee Members

Dr. Lisa A. Cassis, Vice President for Research, University of Kentucky

Dr. Allan Daugherty, Senior Associate Dean for Research & Chair, Department of Physiology

Dr. James W. Geddes, Associate Dean for Research, Director, Spinal Cord & Brain Injury Research Center, College of Medicine

Dr. Peter J. Giannone Jr., Chief, Division of Neonatology & Vice Chair, Pediatric Research

Dr. Louis B. Hersh, Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry, Director, Protein Center of Biomedical Research Excellence

Dr. Philip A. Kern, Director, Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences

Dr. Victoria L. King, Associate Professor, Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Center

Dr. Lisa R. Tannock, Chief, Division of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Dr. Sharon L. Walsh, Professor, Behavioral Science Department, Director of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR)

Dr. David Watt, Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Center for Molecular Medicine

The REACH initiative is administered by Dr. Michael Rowland, Associate Dean, Office of Faculty and Professional Development. Dr. Rowland works with College faculty to encourage and promote research efforts and provide support and guidance to this important initiative. Please contact Dr. Rowland if you are interested in participating in the research component of the REACH initiative.

Faculty Responsibilities:

Faculty participating in the REACH initiative will have the opportunity [1] receive ongoing consultation with select members of the Distinguished Team of Researchers regarding the “mechanics” of functioning as a faculty member at UK, and [2] to facilitate their research development and productivity.

  1. The faculty member must be willing to meet with their advisors/mentors at a minimum on a biannual basis and preferably more frequently if circumstances require it. After the initial selection of appropriate advisor or mentor-mentee pairs, the mentee should set-up and maintain meetings with their mentors.
  2. The faculty member must provide the REACH Team with a brief summary of their current research interests, funding support, publications, potential NIH grant submissions, specific research techniques needed, prior to the first meeting with the REACH Team. This document should be forwarded to Dr. Rowland upon acceptance into the REACH initiative.
  3. Faculty must provide REACH Team with teaching responsibilities. For example, courses taught, lectures provided and teaching evaluations, if available.
  4. Faculty must be open to constructive criticism and feedback regarding their research career and assessment of selection of journals for publications, human subjects or animal requirements, possible collaborators in other departments, Institutional Review Board proposals, understanding grants accounting and purchasing system.
  5. Faculty will be encouraged to actively participate in professional meetings at national and international level by presenting research or current state of research at REACH luncheon meetings.  
  6. Faculty will work with department chairs to achieve research and professional goals. 

The second component of the REACH initiative is The Academic Clinical Advisory Committee (ACAC). This initiative will focus on the E in REACH for Education. A subcommittee of the Appointment, Promotions, and Tenure Committee and select members of the Clinical Title Series Advisory will examine methods to enhance career and professional development needs of faculty. When a faculty member is ready for promotion/tenure review, the ACAC will review your dossier and give you strategies for success to maximize your impact. The ACAC will offer expertise in reviewing your dossier. Your CV must be in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine suggested format prior to review by the ACAC. This is a free, confidential service to faculty seeking promotion and/or tenure.

The third component of the REACH initiative focuses on the Clinical Title Series Faculty. This initiative led by Drs. Deborah Erickson and Paul Sloan examines the Clinical Title Faculty Series and requirements for scholarly activity, compensation, contracts, etc.