Office of Scholarship and Research Development

The Office of Scholarship and Research Development (OSR) is an essential resource for faculty, associate research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and predoctoral students in their pursuit of external research funding and in their dissemination of the resulting findings via peer-reviewed articles and conference presentations. Through its broad scope of services and programs, the OSR plays a crucial role in fostering a culture of scholarly inquiry and advancing research that improves nursing practice and patient care.

OSR Team: Faculty

  • Elizabeth J. Corwin, PhD, MSN, BS, BSN, FNP, FAAN

    • Vice Dean for Strategy and Innovation in Research
    • Anna C. Maxwell Professor of Nursing Research (in Nursing)

    Elizabeth Corwin provides input regarding study conceptualization and design, assists faculty in identifying researchable and potentially fundable topics, critically reviews and provides input regarding study prospectus and proposal drafts, and assists with identifying resource needs for inclusion in the school’s budget.

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  • Haomiao Jia, PhD, MS

    • Professor of Biostatistics (in Nursing) at CUMC

    Haomiao Jia provides statistical assistance to faculty and doctoral students to assist with research projects and grant applications. He can be contacted for a consultation or collaboration meeting for research. Doctoral students must secure permission of their advisor prior to meeting with him.

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  • Jianfang Liu, PhD, MAS, MPA, BE

    • Associate Professor of Quantitative Research (in Nursing) at CUMC

    Jianfang Liu is responsible for assisting faculty, fellows, and graduate students with database management and analysis. This includes ensuring data safety and integrity, validating and modeling data, smooth running of research project databases, and analysis of information using quantitative methods to recognize patterns in data.

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  • Yihong Zhao, PhD, MPhil, BS

    • Professor of Data Sciences (in Nursing) at CUMC

    Yihong Zhao, PhD, is a professor of data science at Columbia University School of Nursing.  She has extensive experience in providing statistical consulting services to investigators. Her research focuses on developing and/or applying statistical and machine learning methods to dissect relationships among genetic factors, neurophenotypes, and psychiatric behaviors, aiming to reveal key insights into biological mechanisms underlying psychiatric conditions. She is currently using advanced analytical methods to investigate brain-behavior relationships in the developing brain. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Leon Levy Foundation, and Children and Screens.

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OSR Team: Staff

  • Kristine M. Kulage, MA, MPH

    • Senior Director, OSR

    Kristine M. Kulage provides assistance to faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and predoctoral students in a wide range of activities related to their scholarly and research endeavors including but not limited to grant application reviews; manuscript and abstract formatting and editing; poster creation; creation of graphics, charts, flow diagrams, and conceptual models; and literature reviews. She leads several OSR initiatives, including the Manuscript Writing Workshops, the K Award Workshop, the Doctoral Student Federal Grant Writing Workshop, Research Excellence (REX) Seminars, scholarly writing and dissemination programs, and one-on-one grant writing mentorships. Ms. Kulage works closely with the Grants Management Office in pre-award grant preparation, compliance, and quality assurance.

    Kristine M. Kulage, MA, MPH
  • Donna J. Drucker, MLS, PhD

    • Assistant Director, OSR

    Donna J. Drucker provides developmental editing, formatting, and proofreading support to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and PhD students submitting NIH grant applications and academic texts for publication. She also assists with other pre-award grant activities, helps teaching faculty find grant opportunities, moderates SOAR and other review sessions, and partners with the Grants Management Office to ensure application compliance with NIH requirements. She has a professional background in library science and history and publishes regularly on the history of science, medicine, and technology as it intersects with gender and sexuality. She also serves on the editorial board of Technology & Culture. My Bibliography - NCBI (

    Donna Drucker
  • Ilana Silverstein, BA

    • Assistant Director, Research Administration

    Ilana Silverstein provides administrative support to the research centers, faculty and staff, serving as a central organizing person for the department. Mx. Silverstein coordinates certain OSR initiatives including Mock Reviews, SOAR sessions, and the Intramural and Interdivisional Pilot Grant programs. They have a professional background in reproductive health and sexuality, including as a research project manager, counselor, and educator.

    Ilana Silverstein
  • Sergey Kisselev, MS

    • Data Manager
  • Brittany Alston, BS

    • Administrative Coordinator

Services and Opportunities

Research Excellence (REX) Seminars

Research Excellence (REX) Seminars provide a forum for faculty and trainee development with discussion of a wide variety of research related topics and scholarly activities. REX Seminars occur monthly throughout the academic year, and faculty and guest presenters share ongoing research findings, best practices in proposal development and grant submission, and opportunities for research collaboration. REX Seminars periodically include rehearsals for oral and poster presentations prior to conference presentation. Examples of previous REX Seminars topics related to proposal development include “Changes to NIH Biosketches,” “Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy,” and “PCORI Funding Opportunities."

Specific Objectives and Aims for Research (SOAR) Sessions

SOAR Sessions are informal, 30-minute meetings where researchers present a draft of their specific aims for a grant proposal to colleagues for guidance, feedback, and suggestions for revision. This is an opportunity for researchers to strengthen their aims and obtain preliminary guidance on their Significance, Innovation, and Approach sections.

Mock Reviews

Mock Reviews are live peer reviews by experts of a grant application before it is submitted to a funding agency. Mock Reviews are highly encouraged because a fresh set of eyes can pick up ways to improve the flow, make the presentation more motivating, or identify flaws in in the scientific rationale, statistical plan, or methodology not previously recognized. These one-hour sessions are conducted similarly to an actual National Institutes of Health study section with a primary and secondary reviewer. Mock Reviews may be open to faculty and trainees to observe and learn. The range of Mock Reviews conducted at Columbia Nursing span from senior level R01 applications to doctoral student F31 NRSAs. Data have demonstrated that researchers who participate in SOAR Sessions and Mock Reviews at Columbia Nursing are more than twice as likely to receive funding than those who do not.

One-on-One Grant Writing Partnerships

The One-on-One Grant Writing Partnership Initiative supports predoctoral students, postdoctoral trainees, and junior faculty either new to research or in the early stages of seeking external funding. The goals are to promote grantsmanship; create a pipeline of talented postdoctoral trainees transitioning to tenure-track positions; and support the advancement of junior faculty conducting research at Columbia Nursing. This partnership supplements and enhances the professional, scientific, and field-specific mentorship received from mentors. During the partnership, the OSR Director works directly with researchers in the pre-award phases of grant preparation with a focus on planning and successfully executing the submission of a grant application to an external funding agency. Partnerships are tailored to individuals’ needs and skill sets, but typically include regular one-on-one meetings; development of a timeline with milestones; careful planning and scheduling of internal reviews (e.g., SOAR Sessions and Mock Reviews); discussions on compliance and regulations; and writing and editing assistance focused on organization, flow, clarity, and assurance that all application requirements are met.

Manuscript Writing Workshops

Manuscript Writing Workshops are conducted several times annually and are open to faculty, postdoctoral trainees, and predoctoral students. In a spirit of mutual respect and peer support, participants review and comment on each other’s writing in a collaborative learning environment to improve writing quality and model an effective revision process. The goal is that participants will have a publishable manuscript by the end of the workshop. The benefits and outcomes of this workshop have been published.

Columbia Nursing Postdoctoral Scholars Group

The Columbia Nursing Postdoctoral Scholars Group is the administrative "home" for its postdoctoral researchers. The Postdoctoral Scholars Group meets regularly to informally share research ideas and experiences of common interest. Formal continuing education seminars with expert guest speakers are also arranged targeted to the group's interests and needs within their program of research as well as on practical scholarly topics to prepare them for independent careers as nurse scientists.

K Award Workshop

This workshop, with a focus on the K99/R00, K01, and K23 mechanisms, is led by the OSR and designed to provide an overview of National Institutes of Health research career development awards. Columbia Nursing recognizes the value of K awards, particularly for junior faculty and postdoctoral trainees transitioning to independent research careers as early stage investigators and junior faculty. Columbia Nursing supports K awards for individuals (1) whose career development will be facilitated by the award; (2) in whom Columbia Nursing wants to invest because they potentially fill a need or expand the School’s programs and scholarship; (3) who show great promise for a successful externally funded program of research; and/or (4) who express an interest in and commitment to staying at the School as a faculty member. This workshop is broad in its focus so that both current K awardees, recent K award applicants, and potential future K award writers can benefit. In addition to didactic sessions on pre-award and post-award “nuts-and-bolts” of writing and submitting K award applications (lead by the GMO and OSR), the K Award Workshop includes informal sessions by faculty and successful applicants on topics such as Firsthand Perspectives from a K Award Reviewer; K Award Teamwork: The Mentor/Mentee Relationship; Revising and Resubmitting a K Award Application; Navigating the Transition from Postdoctoral Trainee to Faculty Member; Conducting 5-Year K01 Award: The Road to Independence; Overcoming PI Challenges: Managing Your Project, Personnel, and Budget; and What’s Next? Job Hunting during your K Award.

Doctoral Student Federal Grant Writing Workshop

All first year PhD students participate in a zero-credit Doctoral Student Federal Grant Writing Workshop which introduces them to several grant mechanisms available to support the dissertation phase of their program, including the F31 Individual National Research Service Award, the R36 Dissertation Grant, and the NIH Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research. An in-depth presentation of individual components required for these applications is presented, along with review criteria and scoring details, biosketch creation and MyNCBI publication links, and understanding the eRA Commons. Previous successful applications are reviewed to identify best practices and former applicants and awardees present their experiences. Writing strategies and choosing appropriate mentors and referees are covered, and recommended timelines for completion of the grant are presented. Emphasis is placed upon development of the scientific project in tandem with the applicant’s career development plans and goals to present a seamless fellowship application. Faculty and postdoctoral trainees serve as guest presenters, and student mentors are also encouraged to attend.

OSR Financial Support for Research and Dissemination

Columbia Nursing offers sources of financial support through the OSR for research and dissemination activities.

  • Intramural Pilot Grants. The OSR coordinates an opportunity for internal funding to jump-start a research project or obtain pilot data prior to submitting a larger grant application. Three one-year awards up to $20,000 each are available annually to faculty and postdoctoral trainees with priority to junior faculty and trainees. Applications are competitively reviewed, interim progress reports are required, and proposals must have a specific plan to secure future funding.  Results from these projects are presented at future REX Seminars. Outcomes from our Intramural Pilot Grant initiative are detailed in the peer-reviewed literature.
  • Funding to Support Travel Expenses for Conference Presentations. Columbia Nursing actively encourages all faculty, postdoctoral trainees, and staff to submit abstracts to regional, national, and international conferences. Demonstrating this commitment to promoting research dissemination, the OSR manages an annual budget of over $30,000 to support costs associated with attending conferences to present research findings via abstracts or oral/poster presentations. These funds, typically approved up to a maximum of $1,200 per trip, help offset the costs to register for a conference as well as travel, hotel, and daily per diem expenses.

OSR Listserv

The OSR maintains a listserv for faculty, trainees, or doctoral students conducting research who are interested in keeping up with relevant calls for proposals; courses offered to assist with grant submission and enhancing research skills; REX Seminars, SOAR Sessions, and Mock Reviews; and other pertinent research-related information.