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Photo from the 24th Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI) Conference. Image sourced from

In the project titled “Building Foundations: Laying the Groundwork for Advancements in Sexual Violence Research,” the UNC-Chapel Hill ’25 Scholar and Principal Investigator (PI), Gabrielle G. Grant, BSN, RN, undertook a comprehensive initiative to establish a strong educational base for the advancement of research in the field of sexual violence. Guided by the expertise of her mentor, Mary Lynn, PhD, the project aimed to facilitate the PI’s growth and contributions in the realm of sexual violence research.

The project’s primary objective was to cultivate fundamental learning experiences within the PI’s chosen domain, thereby fostering the progression of ongoing and future endeavors dedicated to the study of sexual violence. The multifaceted approach was delineated into three principal aims:

  1. Participation in the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI) Conference: At the 24th NNVAWI Conference held at the Durham Convention Center from June 21 to 23, 2022, themed “Promoting Resiliency and Equity to Address Gender-Based Violence Through Community-Led Solutions and Partnerships,” Grant actively engaged. She participated in sessions like the opening keynote by Dr. Sherry Hamby and a survivor-led design symposium defining recovery from sexual exploitation. The conference covered equity, resilience, safety, partnerships, solutions, and emerging global issues (Tomlinson et al., 2022). Notably, the PI networked with scholars from Duke University, NC Central University, and peers from countries like Australia, Canada, and Thailand.
  2. Presentation of Baccalaureate Honors Thesis: As a significant achievement during the project, the PI showcased her baccalaureate honors thesis, titled “Psychological and Social Effects of Sexual Violence: Review of Qualitative Literature.” This presentation, in the form of a pre-recorded project pitch, occurred on the second day of conference activities. The PI also actively participated in a question-and-answer session that followed her presentation, facilitating insightful discussions around her research.
  3. Participation in Qualitative Research Summer Intensive (QRSI) Short Courses: During July 2022, the PI embarked on an immersive learning journey by attending three specialized short courses as part of the 19th annual Qualitative Research Summer Intensive, supported by ResearchTalk and The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science. Led by acclaimed qualitative research expert Johnny Saldana, these courses covered vital topics: “Fundamentals of Qualitative Research,” “Conducting Qualitative Interviews: Developing and Maintaining an Active and Engaged Posture,” and “Coding and Analyzing Qualitative Data.” The courses attracted a diverse array of scholars and scientists from across the country, contributing to a rich and dynamic learning environment.

The successful execution of this project has not only fortified the PI’s understanding of sexual violence research but has also kindled her aspirations for broader dissemination of her work. As she progresses into her second year of the PhD program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the PI remains committed to furthering her research and its impact. Notably, the project has catalyzed a desire to share her research globally, aligning with her forthcoming dissertation proposal. Looking ahead, the PI envisions submitting an abstract and presenting her research at the 25th NNVAWI Conference in November 2024 in Phuket, Thailand.

The potential impact of this project extends beyond its immediate outcomes. By providing a robust foundation and fostering connections with prominent scholars, this initiative has positioned the PI to contribute significantly to the ongoing discourse surrounding sexual violence research. The project’s impact reverberates through the scholarly community and holds promise for driving positive change in the understanding and addressing of gender-based violence.





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