Office of Research and Scholarship/Resources in the School of Nursing
Office of Research and Scholarship The Office of Research and Scholarship (ORS), located on third floor of the Victoria Building (VB) housing the School of Nursing, was originally established in 1987 to help meet the growing commitment of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing to research. The Associate Dean for the Office of Research and Scholarship is Dr. Yvette Conley, PhD, FAAN. The ORS also houses Statistical and Data Support Services. The Director and senior statistician is Dr. Dianxu Ren who provides consultation for methodological and statistical issues for research projects. The ORS has additional PhD prepared faculty statisticians, Dr. Susan Sereika, Dr. Paul Scott, and other staff who facilitate data processing. The combined statistical expertise of these individuals covers observational, quasi-experimental, and experimental designs; exploratory data analysis; data visualization; data mining; nonparametric statistics; multivariate general linear models (e.g., regression, analysis of variance [ANOVA] and covariance [ANCOVA]); generalized linear models (e.g., Poisson regression, logistic regression); model diagnostics; longitudinal data analysis (e.g., repeated measures ANOVA, linear and nonlinear mixed effects models, marginal models via GEE methods, hierarchical models); time-to-event/survival analysis; structural equation modeling (e.g., path analysis, factor analysis, latent variable modeling) and psychometric statistics. The statisticians in the ORS provide an array of research related services including methodological consultation on research project development and statistical consultation for the analysis of data. Each faculty statistician also works and mentors BSN-Honors, PhD and DNP students as they develop the data management and statistical analyses sections of their theses, dissertations and projects, respectively. ORS faculty statisticians also have open office hours weekly for any student conducting research to provide statistical consultation. Additionally, the ORS provides form design, data entry and verification, programming, and data management as fee-for-service. A research data specialist supports the design and implementation of paper-and-pencil, computer-based and web-based data collection forms using site-licensed Qualtrics™ and REDCap. A full-time systems analyst/data manager designs and maintains databases for complex projects and oversees the data stored in Oracle database on the servers at the University Network Operating Center. The ORS systems analyst/data manager also provides direct support and oversight for funded projects as fee-for-service, and consultation to the individual study data managers at no charge. A staff administrator provides overall ORS staff coordination, while a full-time administrative assistant provides receptionist and secretarial support and scheduling for the Clinical Research Suite. Editorial support is available to faculty for grant writing as a supplement to that available through Office of the Research, Health Sciences and as fee for service for manuscript writing.
The ORS also maintains computers with various peripheral devices in the SON small and large computer labs for use by research staff and students including 6 Dell Pentium-class computers running Windows 10; a black and white HP LaserJet Printer, a Dell laser color printer, and 2 flatbed scanners (with document feeders) are also available and locally networked. Two additional Fujitsu scanners are dedicated to support data entry via optical scanning. These lab computers contain the current versions of the major statistical software packages (e.g., SAS, SPSS, Stata, and R). Specialty statistical packages are also accessible in the lab, including Mplus, LISREL, EQS, and AMOS for structural equation modeling; HLM for hierarchical modeling; StatXact and LogXact for discrete data analyses requiring exact estimation methods; SOLAS for missing data description and imputation; and PASS for sample size estimation and power analysis. Popular qualitative analysis software packages are also available, including ATLAS.ti. Oracle, Access and Excel are available for data management. TELEform is available for data entry and validation of large data sets requiring scannable paper-and-pencil data collection forms. In addition to the computers in the SON computer labs supported by the HSIT, the ORS statisticians each have Dell Pentium class desktop and laptop computers (minimum 3.60 GHz, 64 RAM, 500GB HD) for statistical computing and statistical analysis.
Clinical Research Suites. The School of Nursing houses a Clinical Research Suite on the first floor. This 1,800 square feet space is equipped with one clinical laboratory/exam room, two observations rooms, two consultation rooms, one large multi-purpose room that can serve as a conference room, a greeting/reception area, and a restroom for participant use. A scanner and a fax machine are also available for research faculty and staff. Equipped with two video cameras, the conference room is well suited for long distance consultation and video conferencing. The clinical laboratory/exam room is designed for research faculty at the School of Nursing to implement research protocols. It houses an exam table, a phlebotomy chair, a stadiometer, a Tanita scale and body fat analyzer, aWelch/Allyn Spot Vital Signs Blood Pressure machine, 2 Cholestech LDX machines with printers, a refrigerator with freezer for lab supplies, a computer with a printer, and a sink. The lab is a University-approved, State-approved clinical laboratory for CLIA-waived testing for lipid panel, glucose, and HbA1C via fingerstick. The Cholestech machines may also be used to evaluate ALT, AST, and hs-CRP for research purposes only.
Laboratories in the SON. The pathology-based laboratory is overseen Dr. Cecelia Yates, an associate professor who conducts basic science research, and has ~500 sq ft of general laboratory space in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. This space includes 4 workstations of 4 linear feet, 1 workstation of 3 linear feet, plus 4 desk areas. There is also a stationary chemical fume hood. The lab is currently equipped with a Class II Biosafety Cabinet for tissue culture, an Eppendorf CO2 incubator, a general-purpose Eppendorf centrifuge, Eppendorf microcentrifuge, a -20 freezer, and a Thermo Locator for LN2 cryofreezing. For cell and tissue imaging the lab has an EVOS color microscope with digital photomicrography capabilities plus appropriate filters for fluorescence studies and an Olympus B-MAX 40 microscope with brightfield and fluorescence filters. For molecular analysis this laboratory has DNA, RNA, and protein analysis apparatuses, 1-D and 2-D protein electrophoresis equipment, a T100 thermal cycler, and Enduro gel documentation system with UV transilluminator. Additional equipment includes T-10 cell counter and histology-staining system. The laboratory is also equipped with small equipment suitable for all proposed molecular biology, cell biology and protein chemistry experiments. The lab also has a culture room facility, a pre-PCR room and a post-PCR/equipment room. Major equipment available in the laboratory includes an QuantStudio 7 Flex Real-Time PCR System with all of the necessary computer equipment and software for analysis of data, a gel documentation system, centrifuges, a spectrophotometer. For sample storage -80 space, cold room storage, double distilled and Milli Q water filtration systems and an autoclave device. Yates laboratory has been certified for both human and animal tissue. This laboratory is accredited for animal research. University of Pittsburgh Environmental Health and Safety has certified the lab as a BSL-2 Laboratory.
The Genomic Laboratory, overseen by Dr. Yvette Conley, a full professor who conducts omic research, is a 3200 square foot facility. Major equipment available in the laboratory includes an ABI automated sequencer/genotyper with all of the necessary computer equipment and software for analysis of data, the WAVEÒ Nucleic Acid Fragment Analysis System from Transgenomic to perform dHPLC, a QS3 Quantstudio and an ABI700 both for quantitative real time PCR assays, a Turner Designs Luminometer, various horizontal/vertical electrophoresis units and power supplies, SSCP apparatus, a gel documentation system, centrifuges, a spectrophotometer, a cold room for DNA storage, ultra-low freezers, culture room equipment, and multiple 96-well thermal cyclers. The laboratory is completely OSHA compliant and is up to date for all required inspections. Technicians with advanced degrees in the biological sciences are employed full time in the laboratory.
A biobank facility is located on the top floor of the Victoria Building. This facility is climate controlled and contains nineteen -80°C freezers that are connected to emergency generators and automatic notification system to alert Dr. Conley, her laboratory and laboratory manager, and the IT support staff of the Educational Technology and Innovation should a freezer start to have complications.
Health Science IT. Originally called the ETI, Health Science IT (HSIT) provides technological support for teaching. HSIT maintains two computer labs that are used for teaching and testing. HSIT provides all (1) audio-visual and computer support in classrooms and conference rooms in VB and (2) computer and IT support for faculty and staff in the SON. HSIT assists with all the student computer testing, user account creation, alias creation, graphics creation, photography, video recording, and support for courses transmitted via distance education. In addition, HSIT assists with the computer technology and repair, B-Line software support for simulation and telehealth technology.
Space and Equipment in the SON to Support Research. All faculty have a private office, telephone, a desktop and/or laptop computer and hardwired and WiFi access to the internet and secured servers housed and maintained at the University of Pittsburgh Network operating Center. Additionally, faculty have cloud-based storage through enterprise-wide Microsoft OneDrive. Faculty conducting funded research are given additional office and cubicle space in the departmental suite for research staff. Full-time doctoral students have either a cubicle located in the PhD and DNP student lounges having secured WiFi access and a computer loaded with statistical software (e.g., SPSS, SAS, etc.) including sample size estimation software. Those doctoral students serving as GSAs or GSRs often are housed in their dissertation advisor’s research space.
Technical and Support Services at the University of Pittsburgh and SON
University of Pittsburgh Information Technology. Formerly Computer Services and Systems Development (CSSD), Pitt Information Technology (IT) provides a wide array of innovative IT services that support learning, teaching, research, and business at the University of Pittsburgh. Among the many services that Pitt IT offers include data networking, security, telephone and voice systems, and the My Pitt portal. Pitt’s Network Operations Center provides secure hosting and monitoring services for enterprise-wide applications and network services. The enterprise solutions that Pitt IT support bring the high reliability and consistent security required by the University, including Pitt Email and Calendar (Outlook), network-based firewalls, and web hosting. End-user support is available around the clock throughout the year through the 24/7 IT Help Desk and is supplemented with a number of specialized, onsite support programs. Pitt IT also offers software packages (e.g., Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, SPSS, SAS) to students, faculty, and staff at no cost or reduced cost through their Software Distribution Services. Behind all the technology are many talented and highly-skilled professionals with expertise in networking, telecommunications, application development, information security, computing operations, end-user support, and other technology-related areas. Their work has received both local and national awards.
Health Science IT. Health Science IT (HSIT) provides extensive technical and support specifically to the faculty, students and staff of the SON. The HSIT consists of a director, department administrator, 3 IT staff members, 1 full-time audio visual (AV) person, and 1 part-time staff member. Direct support from HSIT is available from 7:30 am to 9:00 pm Monday through Thursday and on Fridays from 7:30am to 5:00pm. In addition to the University HelpDesk, the HSIThas a SON-specific HelpDesk to for the provision and monitoring of technical support. HSIT support services include all computer support and maintenance for faculty and staff (>300 computers/printers), 2 computer labs (65 computers, including 4 computers loaded with specialized software for quantitative and qualitative analyses), 1 computer in the SON Skills Laboratory, the maintenance and troubleshooting of simulation software (including Bline software and the Laerdal), and support and maintenance of all AV equipment for the SON. The HSIT oversees the purchasing of all SON computers, purchasing and licensing of software, and all AV equipment purchasing. The HSIT handles all sponsored email account creation and renewal as well as alumni account conversion and the creation of email distribution lists (via majordomo). Technical support for all computer-based testing (i.e., Kaplan exams, ExamSoft and Insight Assessment) is also supported by the HSIT. Using WebEx,HSIT staff can provide support for the transmission of any class having registered distance students and any offsite meeting as well as the recording of lectures when necessary either in the classroom or in the state of the art television studio. The HSIT offers support for graphical work and printing using two poster printers for national conferences and student projects, can facilitate fabric poster printing through an outside service and supports photography for the SON. HSIT staff also monitor the SON servers at the University’s Network Operating Center as well as the subzero refrigerators both onsite and offsite using the server located on the roof of Victoria Building.
Library-related Facilities/Resources at the University of Pittsburgh
University Library System. The University of Pittsburgh's University Library System (ULS) (https://www.library.pitt.edu/) is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and contains over 4.7 million print and electronic volumes, including access to over 300,000 journals and 570 databases. The ULS consists of 14 libraries and employs 175 librarians and staff. The University of Pittsburgh Library System stands at the center of intellectual life at the University of Pittsburgh, fostering connections and knowledge creation and dissemination that help faculty, students, and researchers from around the world to excel in research, scholarship and creative expression.
The ULS has recently enacted a major organizational realignment and is currently aggressively hiring in many areas of strategic priority as we are repositioning our services to respond to and anticipate changes in research, teaching, and learning. A project to renovate and reinvent Hillman Library, the central library of the University of Pittsburgh campus, has been underway since 2017. The project is a phased renovation, started on the top (4th) floor and working down. The vision statement for the renovation and reinvention describes the light-filled, renovated Hillman as:
“…the principal hub of intellectual activity on campus providing services, resources, and inspiring spaces—from vibrant to serene—that advance academic study, stimulate innovation in knowledge creation, encourage intellectual exploration and creativity, and foster energetic collaborative exchange.”
Health Sciences Library System. The Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) at the Oakland campus offers a wide-ranging collection of nursing, biomedical, and health-related journals and books, along with a specialized collection of rare and historical materials. Library users have access to more than 8,200 electronic journals in the health sciences, 5,101 e-books, and 115 databases or publisher collections of full-text information. The electronic resources include, among others, AccessMedicine, AccessSurgery, AccessPharmacy, Bates' Visual Guide to Physical Examination, CINAHL, ClinicalKey, The Cochrane Library, DSM-5, Faculty of 1000, Embase, Exam Master, JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics), MICROMEDEX, Scopus, Stat!Ref textbooks, UpToDate, and Web of Science. A complete list can be found at https://www.hsls.pitt.edu/databases.
Falk Library, the physical home of HSLS, is currently undergoing renovation and expansion as part of a larger construction project. The library will remain open throughout the project and continue to offer computing and Internet access, as well as educational, productivity, and research software packages. Students and faculty will also continue to have access to 40 personal computer-equipped workspaces, circulating technology including laptop computers, and two classrooms equipped for group computer instruction. Pitt’s wireless network is available throughout the library.
HSLS maintains an active web site https://www.hsls.pitt.edu/ with over 1,400,000 pages of information accessed per month. The web site contains information about library services, resources, and activities. All Pitt faculty, students and staff can find workshop schedules, links to electronic resources, news items, online course reserves, and lists of new books. They can request copies of books or journal articles not available in HSLS collections and suggest new purchases for library collections. Questions submitted through the Ask-A-Librarian feature typically receive a response in less than 24 hours. HSLS also publishes an online monthly newsletter, HSLS Update, to inform users about new developments in its services and resources.
The Research, Instruction, and Clinical Information Services (RICIS) section of HSLS provide assistance to users by answering questions about library resources, conducting in-depth searching of electronic and print resources to answer complex research and clinical queries, and offering individual consultations and bibliographic instruction. The RICIS liaison to the SON, Mary Lou Klem, PhD, MLIS, can
- make presentations to departments or courses about library resources and services
- incorporate library and information management skills into the curriculum
- collaborate on research projects or grants
- perform professional-level literature searches, or validate users’ search strategies.
Faculty and doctoral students work with Dr. Klem, whose inter-professional expertise is used extensively, including updating the nursing portal, assisting in homework design, supporting students use of library resources, and doing literature searches for publications. Faculty also use the eBooks and video library to contain textbook costs for students.
Two additional HSLS specialty services are also available to students and faculty:
- Molecular Biology Information Service provides training and support in the use of specialized software and databases such as Parteks Genomic Suite, Sequencher, and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis.
- Data Services provides individual consultations and group training on topics such as crafting a data management plan, electronic research notebooks, file naming best practices, and version control.