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Ryan Carnahan, PharmD, MS, BCPP
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology
The University of Iowa College of Public Health

Aimee McRae-Clark, PharmD, BCPP
Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Medical University of South Carolina

CPNP is launching the Research Community to promote networking, collaboration, and consultation among members who are interested in research and scholarship. In recent years, CPNP’s Research Committee focused its efforts on activities that could facilitate connections among members to enhance psychiatric pharmacy-related research and scholarship. In the Board’s recent strategic planning activities, they decided to transition to a Research Community as a new approach to help achieve this goal.

Psychiatric pharmacy-related research and scholarship is important in helping to improve care, advance our specialty, and provide visibility to psychiatric pharmacy in the greater medical community. However, it is recognized that CPNP members differ in their interests and responsibilities and only a subset of the membership is engaged in research. The CPNP Research Community is a conduit to connect this subset of the membership such that members can support each other in achieving their research and scholarship-related goals. This community will also hopefully serve as a place where people interested in research without experience can reach out to identify opportunities or get help, or to connect students with those who might be able to provide research opportunities in psychiatric pharmacy if none are available locally. Anyone who has delved very far into the world of research knows that help from others with experience is essential to success. There are many CPNP members with a great deal of experience, wisdom, and specific expertise who are willing to share it with those who ask, and the Community will hopefully make it easier to connect with these members.

The cornerstone of the Research Community will be a list-serve and workspace. This will allow members to communicate and post useful resources. This community will also capitalize on some of the networking tools that developed out of Research Committee work and recommendations. These include the Research Opportunities and Scholarly Opportunities websites (available under “My CPNP”) which allow members to post opportunities to seek collaborators. These tools have been successful in helping some researchers to connect and grow a single-site research project into a multi-center collaborative. The online forum may also be helpful in finding co-authors who are interested in collaborating on manuscripts other than original research, similar to the goal of the Writing Support Group which was facilitated by the Research Committee and led to cross-institutional collaboration among CPNP members. Projects that involve CPNP members from multiple institutions may also benefit from a project-specific shared workspace or conference call support, both of which may be provided by CPNP to members who make a request through the community.

The Research Community will be shaped by those who choose to participate. We hope there will be a critical mass of interested and engaged members to make it a useful resource. We’d also be interested in hearing from members about what enhancements they might find helpful for such a community. For example, a possible future direction could involve having members log their specific research interests or areas of expertise in a searchable field so they can be sought out by others looking for specific types of assistance. 

If you are a CPNP member interested in research, we encourage you to sign up to be a part of the Research Community and actively participate to get help when you need it and help others when you can. CPNP hopes this will be a useful resource to members to help advance research and scholarship in psychiatric pharmacy, and in turn help the patients who we serve.

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