Microresearch Funding Is Now Available!

What is Microresearch?

Microsearch is a community-based research approach that supports, with small “seed grant” funding, locally generated and implemented projects leading to local solutions to problems in underserved communities, resulting in big impact.

Rural PREP’s Microresearch Approach

Rural PREP is providing multiple awards of up to $4,000 each to encourage research by learners in rural health professions education and training about:

  • Rural primary care
  • Rural population health
  • Rural health workforce education and training

A faculty mentor will be assigned by Rural PREP or approved as requested by the student.

Who is eligible to apply?

Current students in a medical school or a nurse practitioner or physician assistant program, residents in a rural physician residency program, or other health professionals training for primary care practice in a rural location.


We will begin reviewing the first group of applications after January 12. If funding remains after the first review, we will fund additional applicants through March 1 on a rolling basis until all funds are expended.

Learn More



‘Diseases of Despair’ Killing Appalachians At a Higher Rate Than Rest of U.S.

Photo by Thomas Hawk/FlickrCC

A study released by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in August found that people in Appalachia are dying for “diseases of despair” – such as prescription drug and illegal drug overdose, suicide, and alcoholic liver disease – at higher rates than the rest of America.

In 2015, the 15 to 64 year old population in the Appalachian Region represented 7.8 percent of the total population in the United States for this age group, yet contributed to 10.3 percent of the total deaths from diseases of despair.

The goal of this study was to analyze the impact of the diseases of despair on mortality within the Appalachian Region. Specifically, researchers investigated whether disparities related to diseases of despair are greater within the Appalachian Region than the non-Appalachian United States, and whether Appalachian disparities were driving national trends showing rising mortality from diseases of despair.

Read the full report at www.arc.gov

Bringing Change for Rural COPD Patients

by airnergy

January 2017 report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrated that rural mortality rates have “decreased at a much slower pace, resulting in a widening gap between rural and urban mortality.” But, COPD Foundation president Grace Anne Dorney Koppel is quick to highlight an important outlier disease.

“Over the past 15 years, there is this growing divide between rural and metropolitan America, especially for the five leading rural causes of excess deaths,” Koppel said.

Read Full Story at : https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/rural-monitor/rural-copd/

Exponent Telegram: NIH Makes $20 Million Investment in Clinical Research in West Virginia

Photo by West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute

The Exponent Telegram

MORGANTOWN — The West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute has successfully competed renewal for funding from the National Institutes of Health with a five-year $20 million grant to improve health outcomes in West Virginia.

This grant provides five more years of funding, extending WVCTSI’s 2012 Institutional Development Award for Clinical and Translational Research through 2022.

“This funding will enable WVCTSI to reach a new level of statewide programming, supporting West Virginia investigators in academic medical centers and community clinics to find real solutions that will lead to better health for West Virginians,” said Sally Hodder, M.D., WVCTSI director and principal investigator.

With this new grant, WVCTSI will continue to offer funding and services to accelerate the creation and translation of new knowledge to impact health issues in rural communities. Additionally, WVCTSI has planned new programs and support, particularly for early career researchers starting their career in West Virginia…

Read the full story at www.theet.com

HealthCare Dive: New AMA Survey Offers Surprising Data About Where Physicians Work

Photo: Andrew Malone/FlickrCC

Dr. Farzad Mostashari/HealthCare Dive

In 1897, a reporter received a letter from an American writer in London with a now-famous line: “The report of my death,” Mark Twain wrote, “was an exaggeration.” Today, small, physician-owned practices could say the same, about a somewhat different report.

This report comes from the American Medical Association’s Physician Practice Benchmark Survey, a nationally representative survey of post-residency physicians. This year’s survey covered 3,500 physicians — each of whom must provide at least 20 hours of patient care per week, not be employed by the federal government, and practice in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. The surveys have been conducted in 2012, 2014 and 2016 — so we have three years of comparable data.

But the benchmark survey shows something else – the majority of physicians today still work in small practices.

At a surface level, some of these numbers were less than encouraging. The percentage of physicians who own their own practice has been on the decline. In 2012, 53.2% of physicians owned their own practice. In 2016, 47.1% did. To some, crossing that threshold of 50% was a signal that the anti-competitive trends in our healthcare system have pushed physician ownership to the side.

I don’t intend to claim there aren’t real concerns around competition. Recently, I’ve joined Carnegie-Mellon’s Martin Gaynor and Paul Ginsburg from the Brookings Institution in writing about the need for a new competition policy in healthcare. Americans today are paying the price for steady consolidation in the hospital and health insurance markets.

But the benchmark survey shows something else. If you dig into the data, you’ll see that the increase in hospital ownership has flatlined, the majority of physicians today still work in small practices and physicians are most likely working for other physicians…

Read the full story at healthcaredive.com

WVU Today: Multi-State Research Project Explores Diet and Healthy Ageing

Photo: Russ Allison Loar/FlickrCC

By WVU Today

In many rural areas, treating chronic diseases related to diet and weight is challenging because of limited access to food and nutrition experts. A West Virginia University professor has found that using technology to connect those experts with middle-aged and older patients in those areas can improve nutritional health.

Melissa Ventura Marra, assistant professor of human nutrition and foods in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, is part of a multi-state research team that is evaluating how food security and lifestyle choices such as diet quality and physical activity affect individual health and well-being.

[More information about the research can be found at www.nimss.org/projects/15898]

A multistate research team has been evaluating how food security and lifestyle choices such as diet quality and physical activity affect individual health and well-being.

The project includes a broad range of research, from basic science to social science, from 13 universities around the country. A team of scientists from the group will present their findings during a special symposium as part of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics on July 23-27 in San Francisco.

The symposium, titled “Successes in older adult nutrition and physical activity studies,” is the result of a USDA-funded multistate research project that began in 1989.

The research project examines three areas: molecular and mechanistic understanding of how nutrients and activity can influence age-related diseases, environmental factors that influence the adoption of health-promoting lifestyle changes, and lifestyle needs assessment and evaluation of lifestyle interventions that lead to measurable outcomes…

Read the full story at wvutoday.wvu.edu