Smalley Appointed as UW’s AVP for Research | News

November 7, 2022

An accomplished researcher, scholar and research administrator with extensive experience in securing research grants has been named associate vice president for research at the University of Wyoming.

Bryant Smalley, the Wyoming Excellence Chair in Rural Health in UW’s College of Health Sciences, began his new role at the university Nov. 4. He will report to Vice President for Research and Economic Development Parag Chitnis.

“We’re delighted that Dr. Smalley has accepted this key appointment,” Chitnis says. “We’re confident that his passion and expertise will help expand the size and breadth of the university’s research enterprise as we pursue the long-term goal of reaching Carnegie R1 status in service to Wyoming, the nation and the world.”

Before coming to UW, Smalley was the associate dean for research at the Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Ga. Before that position, he was the founding executive director of Georgia Southern University’s Rural Health Research Institute — a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center of Excellence for Rural Health. He holds a Ph.D. and Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, as well as a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University.

“It is an honor to be named to this important and exciting role,” Smalley says. “Under President Seidel and VP Chitnis’ leadership, the University of Wyoming is poised to become one of the most impactful and innovative R1 institutions in the country. I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff and students across all disciplines at UW to expand research, scholarship and creative endeavors.”

While associate dean for research at Mercer, Smalley served as the founding director of the School of Medicine’s Office of Research; developed, coordinated and evaluated research development activities across bench, clinical, translational and population health research; and advanced student involvement in research. In previous roles, he also has created university-wide longitudinal research mentoring experiences; implemented targeted seed-funding programs; formed interdisciplinary research interest groups; and designed award-winning student research mentoring programs.

Smalley’s research has been supported by more than $20 million from agencies that include NIH, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the federal Corporation for National and Community Service and various foundations. Examples of previous grants include $5.7 million from HRSA for South Georgia Healthy Start, focused on eliminating disparities in maternal and infant mortality in a 10-county region of rural Georgia, and $5.2 million from NIH to establish an NIH Center of Excellence on Health Disparities in Rural Populations. Other grants have focused on overdose prevention, school-based health centers, community-based health promotion and chronic disease self-management intervention development and testing.

At UW, Smalley is principal investigator of a newly awarded $3 million HRSA grant to establish a formal training and credentialing program for community health workers in Wyoming.

As associate vice president for research, Smalley will be responsible for strategic planning of the UW research enterprise with the vice president for research and economic development; oversee administration of UW’s extramural grant activities; lead development of campuswide priorities and initiatives to apply for grant funding; lead the university’s research compliance offices; oversee several research units and service centers under the Office of Research and Economic Development; and collaborate with the associate vice president for economic development in transitioning research to innovation and economic development.


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