In efforts to develop an overarching vision and a 5 to 10 year game plan for its Research Unit, the Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery, AKU-SONAM, held the Research Retreat 2022 on December 26 and 27, 2022, with participation and contribution from leadership, research experts and faculty members of the University.
The event was conducted in collaboration between the Office of Research and Innovation and the Office of Graduate Programs at AKU-SONAM, in pursuit of one of the School’s goals: to promote the development of a scientific body of knowledge that addresses needs of the local culture by generating context-based solutions. The main aim of this retreat was to identify faculty aspirations and needs, and help advance their contribution as researchers.
One of the key highlights of the event was the official launch of five Think Tank groups within the School aimed to help expand AKU-SONAM’s research portfolio and improve research outcomes as well as impact for local healthcare and patient-care solutions. These were categorized as follows:
Think Tank Group
1. Opportunities for indexed peer-reviewed journals
Dr Saleema Gulzar, Kiran Mubeen Shagufta Iqbal, Zahira Amir Ali, Arusa Lakhani, Nasreen Rafiq, Sehrish Salim Zeeshan Aslam, Shah Rawan (student)
2. Policy development and evidence-based practice at clinical-level using nursing research
Dr Rubina Barolia, Karima Hirani, Sajida Chagani, Laila Akber Cassum, Shirin Rahim, Razia Momin, Zohra Jetha, Sanam Hanif, Khairunnisa Mansoor, Zulekha Saleem, Parveen Chagani, Ambreen Merchant, Saima Sachwani, Sehrish Sajjad
3. Deterring and motivating factors to be an active researcher
Dr Salim Virani, Dr Laila Ladak, Jonathan Johnson, Dr Jai Das, Neelam (MScN student), Jawwad Ali (MScN student), Fatima Khanum, Aamir Sarfaraz, Sarki (East Africa), Mustafa Hassan
4. Students engagement as partners in research/Opportunities for education research
Dr Yasmin Amarsi, Dr Khairulnissa Ajani, Shehla Khan, Sarmad Soomar, Nimira Asif, Farzana Yameen, Shanaz Cassum, Laila Ladha, Saeeda Batool (BSN Year III), Rabab Hussain (Trainee Nurse Intern – BSN 2022)
5. Social media competency and using social media to communicate research results
Dr Rafat Jan, Dr Naghma Rizvi, Salima Rajput, Shenila Anwar (MScN student), Sarwat (undergraduate student)
Day 1 was opened by Dr Tazeen Saeed Ali, professor and associate dean, research and innovation, AKU-SONAM. She shared the way-forward from Research Retreat 2018 and SONAM research milestones of the past four years. She also shared her research vision for the next two years which includes 100% faculty members becoming active researchers, increasing extramural fundings and publishing in high impact journals.
Dr Anjum Halai, Professor and Vice provost, AKU, shared expectations for faculty members in three main areas: teaching, research, and service. She further shared that faculty participation and expectation falls under the framework of 4 P’s: Passion, Partnership, Purpose, and Publications.
Other speakers from the University included Dr Salim Virani, Vice Provost, Research; Dr Laila Akbarali, University Registrar; Dr Asad Ali, Dr Shehla Zaidi and Dr Kulsoom Ghias of the AKU Medical College; Dr Rozina Karmaliani, Dr Rafat Jan, Dr Rubina Barolia, Dr Laila Ladak, and Ms Shanaz Cassum, of AKU-SONAM, in addition to alumna Dr Zohra Lassi, Associate Professor, University of Adelaide. who joined virtually.
A panel discussion held on Day 2 included speakers Dr Salim Virani, Vice Provost, Research, AKU; Ms Khairunnisa Hooda, Chief Nursing Officer, AKUH; and Dr Sarah Saleem, Professor and Section Head, AKU-CHS; moderated by Dr Tazeen Saeed Ali, Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Innovation at AKU-SONAM.