FEATURED PILOT GRANT AWARDEE
Aida Midgett, EdD
Boise State University
Development, Acceptability, and Short-Term Outcomes of a Parent Module for a Brief, Bullying Bystander Intervention for Middle School Students in Rural, Low-Income Communities
1. Why and how did you become interested in clinical & translational research?
I became interested in clinical and translational research in 2013 when a local school counselor reached out to me and asked for help addressing the problem of bullying at her school. The school counselor indicated that she wanted to adopt a program that was peer-based, cost-effective and did not place a high demand on school personnel’s’ time to implement, but was unable to find such a program. In response to her request for help, along with a group of students, I developed STAC, which is a brief, stand-alone bullying bystander intervention that stands for four strategies students can utilize to act as “defenders” on behalf of targets when they witness bullying or cyberbullying. After developing STAC, I became interested in opportunities to evaluate the efficacy of STAC and increase the rigor of the research methodology to establish STAC as an evidence-based program.
2. What has been the impact of the MW CTR-IN Pilot Grant on your career and research activities?
I first applied for and received a MW CTR-IN Mini Grant to evaluate STAC in 2015. A few years later, I was awarded a CTR-IN Pilot Grant to adapt STAC to be culturally appropriate for schools that were ethnically-blended and located in low-income and rural communities. The project aims included collecting feasibility and acceptability data, as well as examining the short-term efficacy for the program. Using the pilot data from CTR-IN, our research team was able to secure both a NIH STTR R41 Phase I and R42 Phase 2 (approximately $2M) to translate the in-person STAC program to an online format (STAC-T) with the goal of increasing access for schools in low-income and rural communities. Currently, we are in year 2 of the R42. We also recently completed another CTR-IN Pilot Grant in which we collected data to develop a Parent Module that will serve as an accompanying module for STAC. We plan to apply for a NIH STTR Fast-Track once we complete the RCT for STAC-T. The CTR-IN mechanism has significantly shaped the trajectory of my program of research and provided the foundational research needed for our research team to secure significant NIH funding and continue to develop STAC to meet the needs of local schools to address the problem of bullying.
3. How else has the MW CTR-IN Program helped you with your scientific questions / endeavors?
Our research team has published many manuscripts that directly resulted from the CTR-IN grants and these publications helped us build a body of research in bullying intervention, which in turn, helped us secure NIH funding.
4. What was the most surprising to you about the MW CTR-IN Program?
How friendly, fun, and welcoming the CTR-IN staff are! I have really enjoyed meeting everyone at the CTR-IN conferences and getting to put faces to names from all the emails we have exchanged over the years.
5. What do you think other people should know about the MW CTR-IN Program?
The combination of receiving external funding and having a mechanism to collect pilot data, along with intentionally selecting an invested mentor who understands the field, knows how to obtain funding, and is willing to spend the time and energy needed to help new investigators navigate the grant world can lead to success for faculty who are interested in securing external funding to support their program of research.