Hula’s Research Takes Off With ASHFoundation Funding Complementing the aging and communication focus of this issue of The ASHA Leader, the ASHFoundation features award recipient Will Hula, who—as a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh—received a 2004 ASHFoundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship. It provided just the boost he needed for his research to take off ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   June 01, 2016
Hula’s Research Takes Off With ASHFoundation Funding
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ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   June 01, 2016
Hula’s Research Takes Off With ASHFoundation Funding
The ASHA Leader, June 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.AN10.21062016.66
The ASHA Leader, June 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.AN10.21062016.66
Complementing the aging and communication focus of this issue of The ASHA Leader, the ASHFoundation features award recipient Will Hula, who—as a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh—received a 2004 ASHFoundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship. It provided just the boost he needed for his research to take off and pay off.
At Pittsburgh, Hula became interested in the tests used to measure clinical outcomes in aphasia treatment. He saw a need for measures that were more reliable, valid and theoretically sound than those available at the time. These could, Hula hoped, help to build a stronger evidence base to support clinical practice, provide better documentation to third-party payers, and significantly improve quality of life for people with aphasia. His work has focused on the application of modern psychometric models to aphasia outcome measures, including the Aphasia Communication Outcome Measure and Burden of Stroke Scale, and has led to many publications and successful collaborations with other investigators.
With the success of his work, Hula pursued and received major funding from the Veterans Affairs Research Career Development and Merit Review programs, as well as NIH. His first ASHFoundation funding led to other awards and opportunities, including a 2005 ASHFoundation Travel Research Grant to attend ASHA’s Lessons for Success and participation in the 2015 Grant Review and Reviewer Training program.
Through these programs, he honed his grant-writing skills and created contacts and initiated collaboration with other researchers at the VA and in academia. “The ASHFoundation,” he says, “allows such associations to occur. It provides a unique link connecting early-career researchers to the major sources of funding available to more seasoned researchers.”
Hula, now a speech-language pathologist in the VA Pittsburgh Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center of Excellence and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, notes that the ASHFoundation awards are unique in other ways as well. “They are virtually the only source of funding for researchers at the earliest stages of their career,” he says. “Personally, that first funding from the ASHFoundation has led to so many great research opportunities that I have a career’s worth of initiatives to investigate.”
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June 2016
Volume 21, Issue 6