At the National Studies on Air Pollution and Health (NSAPH) group, our mission is to harness the power of data science to address critical challenges at the intersection of climate change, air pollution, and human health. We are a consortium of investigators working collaboratively across disciplines and institutions to understand emerging threats, develop innovative solutions, and promote evidence-based policies as we seek to build a more sustainable, more equitable, and healthier future for all.
Core Research Values:
- Excellence in Research: We are committed to conducting cutting-edge research that pushes the boundaries of knowledge in the fields of data science, climate science, environmental exposures, and public health. Our work is characterized by rigorous methodology, interdisciplinary collaboration, reproducibility, integrity, and equity in all stages of research, and a dedication to uncovering meaningful insights with the goal of safeguarding the environment and promoting human well-being.
- Implemented by ensuring the work is reproducible and accessible to the public by sharing code, data, metadata, and data dictionaries when possible.
- Impactful Innovation: We strive to develop innovative approaches, methodologies, and tools that leverage data science techniques to generate actionable insights. Our lab places data at the heart of decision-making. We aim to translate complex data into solutions that are practical, effective, and tailored to real-world challenges.
- Implemented by developing novel approaches to analyze data more accurately.
- Collaborative Approach: We actively seek partnerships with academia, industry, and government agencies to foster a holistic approach to problem-solving. Through open dialogue and shared knowledge, we aim to create a collective impact that transcends disciplinary boundaries.
- Implemented by collaborating with other institutions on research, presenting at conferences, participating in interdisciplinary meetings/events.
- Environmental and Human Health Focus: We are dedicated to safeguarding the environment and promoting human well-being and environmental justice. Our research seeks to understand the intricate connections between climate change, environmental exposures, and health outcomes. By identifying vulnerabilities and opportunities for intervention, we contribute to policies that promote environmental and social justice, sustainability and public health.
- Implemented by working on projects that focus to understand and to improve the health of racial/ethnic minority populations to reduce health disparities.
- Continuous Learning and Outreach: We foster a culture of continuous learning and knowledge dissemination. We are dedicated to educating the next generation of data scientists, researchers, and advocates through mentoring, guest lecturing, and participating and presenting in conferences.
- Implemented by mentoring, guest lecturing, presenting in conferences, sharing and participating in learning opportunities/trainings.
Through our unwavering commitment to these values, the NSAPH aims to be a global leader in data-driven research that addresses the urgent challenges presented by climate change, environmental exposures, and their impact on human health. Together, we strive to create a sustainable and resilient future for current and future generations.
- Human-Centric Approach: The group places the well-being, health, and happiness of its researchers and staff at the forefront. It recognizes that individuals’ mental and physical well-being are essential for producing meaningful and sustainable contributions.
- Implemented by regular check-ins in meetings on how everyone is doing.
- Work-Life Balance: The group values a healthy balance between work and personal life. It actively promotes practices that allow researchers to recharge, spend time with their families, and pursue personal interests, fostering a sense of fulfillment and reducing burnout.
- Implemented by respecting boundaries and time required to finish a task.
- Collaborative Community: The group emphasizes a collaborative and supportive environment over cutthroat competition. It encourages open communication, knowledge-sharing, and mutual assistance, nurturing a sense of community and camaraderie among group members.
- Implemented by meeting weekly to discuss the group’s progress on work, and exchange thoughts and ideas on others’ projects.
- Inclusive and Diverse Culture: The group values diversity in all forms, including backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. It creates an inclusive environment where everyone’s contributions are respected and acknowledged, promoting a sense of belonging and reducing feelings of isolation. This group understands that fostering diversity in terms of personal experiences and backgrounds in the lab enriches our understanding of science and enhances our capacity to make a meaningful impact in our communities.
- Implemented by using inclusive language, creating safe spaces for everyone, being open to feedback, and taking diversity training.
- Quality over Quantity: Rather than emphasizing the quantity of research output, the group values the quality and impact of its work. It encourages deep, thoughtful research that contributes to a better understanding of important issues, even if it means producing fewer publications.
- Implemented by discussions of research plans and methodologies, and not rushing through implementation.
- Flexibility and Autonomy: The group recognizes that individuals have different rhythms and preferences when it comes to work. It allows researchers a degree of autonomy in managing their schedules and work processes, accommodating different work styles and preferences.
- Implemented by accepting different work styles and giving flexibility and space for group members to work at their own pace.
- Transparency and a positive approach to mistakes: We believe it’s vital for our team to acknowledge that errors and missteps occur. Instead of penalizing mistakes, we emphasize honesty and support one another, ensuring we collectively learn and grow from these experiences
- Implemented by not penalizing or shaming mistakes, and using them as a learning opportunity.
- Long-Term Sustainability: The group focuses on sustainable practices that ensure its longevity. It considers the long-term well-being of researchers, the community, and the environment in all decisions, striving to create a research environment that is resilient and enduring.
- Implemented by following workplace values 1-7.
- Celebration of Achievements: The group celebrates achievements and milestones, both big and small. Recognizing and acknowledging the contributions of individuals fosters a sense of accomplishment and motivation while reinforcing the group’s commitment to well-being.
- Implemented by recognizing members every semester for exemplifying one of the core research and workplace values.
By upholding these core values, the NSAPH can create an environment where well-being is prioritized, leading to not only happier and healthier researchers but also more meaningful and impactful research outcomes.