Media+Health Lab wins presidential research grant

The $49,689 award has been given for the research project "#Doesanybodycare: Encourage suicide-related bystander behavior on Instagram."
Jeanine Guidry and Nicole O'Donnell

Robertson School faculty members Jeanine Guidry, Ph.D., and Nicole O'Donnell, Ph.D., have been selected for a VCU Presidential Research Quest (PeRQ) Fund award. The award is a very competitive internal VCU grant with many application submissions.

Guidry and O'Donnell, who run the Robertson School's Media+Health Lab, won the grant together with Kellie Carlyle, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Carrie Miller, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the VCU Department of Health Behavior and Policy at the School of Medicine. Danielle Dick, Ph.D., from the Psychology Department will serve as a research mentor on the grant.

"This is an outstanding recognition of Dr. Guidry, Dr. O'Donnell and their collaborators. Their ground-breaking research on visual social media in health communication is making a great impact in this field," said Marcus Messner, Ph.D., interim director of the Robertson School. "It is an especially remarkable achievement as Dr. Guidry is only entering her her third year as an assistant professor here and Dr. O'Donnell only her second year."

The $49,689 award has been given for the research project "#Doesanybodycare: Encourage suicide-related bystander behavior on Instagram." It is a joint project of the Robertson School, the Department of Health Behavior and Policy and Spit for Science, and will focus on identifying and supporting people at risk to prevent suicide by using computer-based message assessment, in-depth interviews and eye-tracking research. The grant will allow for the purchase of eye-tracking research equipment which will be installed in the Robertson School research lab on the first floor of the Temple Building.

According to Guidry, the project has the following goals:

  1. Identify cues and contextual factors related to college students’ recognition and interpretation of warning signs for suicidality in social media posts
  2. Examine the factors that facilitate college students’ assuming responsibility to help in response to messages with warning signs for suicidality
  3. Explore college students’ ability to respond to potentially suicidal peers and assess whether their proposed response would be appropriate according to evidence-based guidelines

Read the full list of awardees from VCU News.

Original post from the Robertson School website (8/7/19)

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