Research facilitator Bruna Bonavia-Fisher was nominated by the biomedical sciences departments as an Invaluable Facilitator in the Create-it award category. (Submitted photo)

Bruna Bonavia-Fisher: Invaluable Facilitator

Faculty members within the biomedical sciences departments voiced their enthusiastic support to nominate invaluable research facilitator Bruna Bonavia-Fisher in the Create-it category for the 2022 College of Medicine Staff Awards.

By Kristen McEwen

In the spring, the College of Medicine put out a call for nominations for awards to recognize staff members at the college who go above and beyond.

The Create-it award category is awarded to a staff member or team who has been nominated for an achievement that may not fit within the scope of other awards. Bruna’s colleagues customized the award for her, calling it the “Invaluable Facilitator Award.”

Bruna  is a research facilitator for both biomedical science departments – Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology (APP), and Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology (BMI).

In her role, Bruna assists faculty in navigating provincial and national research landscapes to learn and apply for new and existing funding opportunities.

Not only does Bruna provide support to apply for funding opportunities, but she also provides advice on how to write successful grants and how to navigate university systems and policies. Bruna contributes to building a culture of trust and community by maintaining a positive, compassionate and caring attitude, according to nominator Dr. Bill Roesler, department head of BMI.

“The College (of Medicine) is extremely fortunate to have Bruna as a research facilitator. She has developed into being the ‘go-to’ expert for faculty and other research staff in the College and the University at large,” he wrote in the nomination package. “She is helping faculty to increase their own confidence in their research through her never-ending encouragement and support. The passion that she herself has for scientific research, combined with her own research experience and love of learning, has made her an invaluable resource to the college and its faculty.”

We asked Bruna her thoughts on receiving the Invaluable Facilitator Award.

The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

What was your reaction when you learned you were named the recipient of the Invaluable Facilitator Award?

I was very surprised as I did not know I was nominated. After the initial surprise I was grateful for the nomination and the decision of the review committee. It is humbling to find out that you are contributing to the research environment and assisting researchers to succeed in their research programs.

What does it mean for you to be recognized in this way?

It means a lot to me to have been nominated by Dr. Roesler and to know that my work has an impact on the faculty members. I am pleased to be able to contribute in an indirect way to the research success of USask. This award is especially rewarding as I had been in my role in the biomedical sciences departments for only a year and a half. The recognition gives me the motivation to keep working hard to assist the faculty members that I serve.

What motivates you to go above and beyond for your departments?

My goal has always been to try to contribute in a positive way to the research environment of the Departments that I serve, as well as of the College and University. Seeing the researchers succeed at developing their research programs and facilitating a smooth start for new hires motivates me every day. 

What do you enjoy most about working for the college/university?

I work in a very welcoming and supportive environment, in which everyone supports and respects each other. The sense of belonging is very motiving and helps make my days very enjoyable. I value the professional and personal relationships that have developed with the leadership of the departments, with faculty members, and with the staff of the unit. I feel invigorated by the privilege of seeing the scientific process in action every day!