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Evolution of research on campus

January 10, 2017

Research in all forms has value, from health care to technology to education to the environment. But IUPUI has developed a way to challenge researchers to go the extra mile -- to put their formulas, ideas and outcomes into action.

The Translating Research into Practice initiative, or TRIP, launched in 2007, engages men and women in IUPUI laboratories, schools and programs to find ways to make a difference in people's lives. Translational research is a core principle in IUPUI’s Strategic Plan and our research programs, and a spark driving the curiosity of trained investigators.

Chancellor Charles Bantz, Sandra Petronio and Stephan Viehweg.

The Center for Translating Research into Practice has been shaping the impact of research discoveries, guided by, from left, director and Chancellor Emeritus Charles R. Bantz, founding director and professor Sandra Petronio, and associate director Stephan Viehweg. | LIZ KAYE / IU COMMUNICATIONS

Chancellor Emeritus Charles R. Bantz and professor Sandra Petronio established TRIP to hone the focus of IUPUI's research culture. The Center for Translating Research into Practice features Bantz as the director, Stephan Viehweg as the associate director and Petronio as the founding director. Petronio is a nationally recognized expert in identifying best practices for translating evidence into practice.

The center uses several elements to put campus-based research in the public eye.

"The program brings local and national attention to the great work our faculty and researchers are doing on the IUPUI campus," Bantz said. "TRIP offers us an opportunity to recognize, support and honor the transformative work that is shaping life here in Indianapolis and beyond."

Petronio said the campus and the community take pride in those accomplishments.

"Clearly, IUPUI is a translational campus," she said. "The fabric of research conducted on this campus speaks to the way discoveries, once known from research, can be put into practice. These evidence-based practices change our lives, the way we think about ideas, the way we make choices about our health care and the way that we come to understand many aspects of our everyday lives."

The initiative is important to both Bantz and Petronio. In 2013, they launched the Bantz-Petronio Translating Research into Practice Faculty Award, which recognizes outstanding faculty research that is interdisciplinary and/or cross-disciplinary and is intentionally directed toward positively impacting people's lives.

Research and creative activity generate knowledge. The award recognizes faculty who are actively endeavoring to transform that knowledge into practices or solutions, demonstrating innovative ways to improve the lives of individuals and the communities in which they live.

The center pursues its goals through two major events each year, one in the fall semester and one in the spring.

In the fall, the Community Showcase event offers the Bantz-Petronio award recipient an opportunity to share his or her work with the campus community, including fellow researchers. In the spring, the Translating Research into Practice Keynote Address event features speakers who extoll the impact of scientific inquiry. Past speakers have included:

"Translational research fills an enormous gap between our ability to produce new knowledge and our capacity to bring the fruits of that knowledge to those most in need," Bantz said. "It connects us to fellow research universities and links our schools -- medicine, law, all our schools -- with the well-being of the people who live and work here. That is a truly energizing opportunity for us all."


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