Prestigious EU grant for Health Services Research

Researchers at the University of Stavanger have received 6 million euros from the prestigious EU research program Horizon Europe.

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En gruppe av ansatte ved UiS som jubler til kameraet.
Photo: SHARE

Together with 13 partners, researchers from SHARE – Center for Resilience in Healthcare at the University of Stavanger have received 6 million euros from the EU for the research project Support4Resilience (S4R) - Strengthening resilience and mental wellbeing through the Support4Resilience toolbox for leaders in elderly care.

– This is fantastic news, and I am incredibly proud of the work everyone has put in. We have strategically invested in EU programmes for many years and have purposefully built a strong position in our field of expertise, both nationally and internationally. To be awarded the role of coordinator for this project is a true recognition of the research community at the Center and the university. I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has contributed, said Siri Wiig, project manager and center director for SHARE – Center for Resilience in Healthcare.

The research project aims to strengthen resilience and mental well-being among healthcare workers and caregivers in European elderly care through the development, testing, and evaluation of a toolbox to support leaders in elderly care. This will impact on recruitment and retaining healthcare workers in elderly care and providing high-quality healthcare services.

Measures to recruit and retain healthcare workers

European elderly care is experiencing labor shortages, lack of qualified workers and a mismatch between capacity and demands, causing stress, burnout, and reduced mental wellbeing among healthcare workers and informal caregivers.

– This situation is not new, but the challenges seem to be increasing. It's important that it's not the responsibility of healthcare workers or caregivers to endure more to handle these challenges, but that we create systems that make it easier for healthcare workers and caregivers to contribute to creating high-quality services. This is what Support4Resilience aims to provide, says Wiig.

She explains that a comprehensive approach, including measures to improve working conditions, training, and opportunities for competence development, are necessary to attract and retain qualified healthcare workers and ensure high-quality healthcare services for the population.

Developing and testing a digital toolbox

Leaders are crucial in promoting supportive working conditions but lack research-based measures to act upon these challenges. The goal of the project is to create tools that support leaders in elderly care in strengthening resilience and mental well-being among staff and caregivers.

– We believe that the healthcare systems should actively facilitate healthcare workers’ capacity to perform their duties effectively. In order to improve our systems, it is necessary that the work is organized in a manner that maximizes the utilization of resources and expertise, and promotes employee mastery and motivation, the project manager elaborated.

The research project starting in 2024 will develop, implement, and evaluate a research-based Toolbox to support healthcare leaders. By first exploring the perspectives and needs of healthcare personnel and informal caregivers, the tools being developed will help leaders understand and manage the challenges they face and provide them access to research-based solutions.

The toolbox will be tested in six European countries and will be adapted to different contexts, types of healthcare providers and health system levels.

S4R provides policymakers, decisions-makers and leaders with solutions for taking action to solve specific risks for healthcare workers’ and informal caregivers’ resilience and mental wellbeing. In line with the expectations in the EU’ work programme, S4R will support the development of resilient health systems in European elderly care through improved leadership capabilities, governance structures, and adaptive capacities.

Elleve ansatte ved UiS som sitter ved et bord på en restaurant
SHARE-researchers celebrate submitted EU application (Photo: SHARE)

Strengthening SHARE’s position in health services research

To successfully obtain EU funding, thorough planning, interdisciplinary expertise, and a solid research idea that addresses real needs and challenges are required.

The application received a top score of 15 out of 15 possible points, reflecting the quality of the research community participating in the project.

– SHARE is at the forefront of research excellence at the Faculty of Health Sciences, a fact that is underscored by this achievement. This is something we can all celebrate and draw inspiration from in our own research, said Dean Eldar Søreide.

Merete Vadla Madland, Vice Rector for Research at the University of Stavanger, believes that this project gives us the opportunity to contribute to solving important societal challenges. while also strengthening the university’s research position.

– Receiving such a prestigious grant is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of our researchers. It also underscores SHARE's ability to build strong partnerships and collaborate across borders, she adds.

  1. University of Stavanger (Norway)
  2. European Forum for Primary Care (The Netherlands)
  3. Universitatea Stefan Cel Mare Din Suceava (Romania)
  4. Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
  5. International Society for Quality in Health Care CLG (Ireland)
  6. Ita-Suomen Yliopisto (Finland)
  7. Universitat Jaume I De Castellon (Spain)
  8. Fundacion Universitat Jaume I-Empresa (Spain)
  9. Turun Ammattikorkeakoulu Oy (Finland)
  10. Fondazione Casa Cardinale Maffi Onlus (Italy)
  11. University of Cyprus (Cyprus)
  12. Scuola Superiore Di Studi Universitari E Di Perfezio (Italy)
  13. NTNU: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)
  14. Macquarie University (Australia)

Project manager

Faculty of Health Sciences
Department of Quality and Health Technology