UTMB Researchers Earn Rare Perfect Score on NIH Grant with Violence Prevention Program

Researchers from the Center for Violence Prevention at the University of Texas Medical Branch received a rare perfect score, also known as the “unicorn score,” on their renewal of a nearly $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The funding will continue testing the violence prevention program implemented by UTMB researchers.

“I am thrilled to receive such a rare perfect score,” said Dr. Jeff Temple, Vice Dean for research at UTMB’s School of Nursing and the director of the Center for Violence Prevention. “This recognizes our exceptional team of researchers, as well as the major impact this study has on the field of dating violence intervention.”

The application highlights the ongoing research and long-term effectiveness of a dating violence prevention program, Fourth R, delivered to middle school students. Researchers Temple, alongside Drs. Elizabeth Baumler, Shannon Guillot-Wright and Leila Wood will examine the long-term benefits of the healthy relationships program, as well as the effects of a text-based booster after the intervention.

NIH has highlighted the application as “a remarkable, highly significant [project] that can advance and have a sustained impact on the field of dating violence intervention.”

Renewing this grant, the team seeks to collect four more years of follow-up data, experimentally test the addition of a text-based booster, and determine the cost-benefit of implementing a school-based program to prevent violence.

“Ultimately, we hope this program will be adopted more widely and lead to large reductions in dating violence and produce the associated short- and long-term outcomes on a national scale,” Temple said.  

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