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NORA Symposium 2006: Panel Discussion of Cross-Sector Issues and Grant Funding in the New NORA
Mike Galvin, Director of the NIOSH Office of Extramural Programs, made brief remarks on how the grants process will continue to evolve in response to the sector basis and research-to-practice focus of the second decade of NORA.
Sid Soderholm, NORA Coordinator, presented "NORA: Cross-Sector Research in the Second Decade" (PDF, 660 KB) describing the continuing and important role of cross-sector issues. Invited panel members and the audience made a number of points captured in the discussion summary below.
Three panelists had been recruited to outline their thoughts and concerns regarding the role of cross-sector issues in the sector-based second decade of NORA. The panelists were: Letitia Davis, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; John Dement, Duke University; and Donald Henderson, State University of New York at Buffalo.
The Panel spoke about mechanisms that could be employed to ensure that critical cross-cutting aspects of sectors be addressed. These include:
- Mandate that all NORA Sector Research Councils (SRCs) ensure adequate surveillance information be collected, improved and used; appoint a Champion to each SRC.
- Mandate that all SRCs ensure adequate attention to Special Populations; appoint a Champion to each SRC.
- Ensure that more fragile approaches outside workplaces be fostered by the NORA Cross-Sector Research Council, including community based and school based approaches that prepare workers and communities for OSH.
- Hold cross-cutting workshops (NIOSH plus external community) to review progress and to ensure adequate interaction with Sectors.
The Panel also identified the need for greater interaction of intramural and extramural collaborators. This had been successfully fostered via NORA Teams but was not as successful among researchers.
- Models of interaction of both intramural and extramural researchers and companies and labor implementation are needed.
- Workshops or other arranged meetings need to be held.
- Guidelines should be published to encourage and facilitate investigator generated research.
- The NIH Study Sections need to be educated to appreciate the pragmatic nature of NORA research.
- Concern was expressed that some NIH Institutes, EPA and DOE will be lost as partners due to the Sector emphasis. Contact and marketing and facilitating are needed by NIOSH leadership.
- A mechanism is needed to continually scan the horizon to identify new needs and to continue periodic nominations of new topics.
The audience comments addressed the following topics:
- Participatory research including workers should be highlighted and encouraged.
- Description of Sector needs should take care to emphasize needs of workers.
- The research calls must allow for bringing forth new knowledge.
- Reserve some funds for orphan worker populations (not large enough to constitute a major sector problem).
- Intramural and extramural collaboration is necessary.
- Additional funding systems beyond the federal opportunities of NORA1 are needed.
- Research approach of intervention effectiveness needs to be anchored in each SRC.
This document was entered into the NORA Docket for consideration by the NORA Cross-Sector and Sector Research Councils.
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