WUSTL, area universities to host research summit

Washington University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), Saint Louis University (SLU) and the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) will partner to host the Midwest Regional Outreach, Science and Scholarship Summit: Leadership in Interdisciplinarity, Networking and Collaboration (LINC) Feb. 2-4.

Conference topics include updates on the latest funding trends from federal agencies and informative sessions for academic investigators on research practices and opportunities. Attendees also can explore ways to enhance the success of their individual and collaborative research projects.

The conference is the second of a biennial event intended to facilitate faculty research opportunities and stimulate broad-based increases in sponsored research, scholarship and interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships.

The event was originally held in January 2007 as the Metropolitan St. Louis Grants Conference: Research Days.

“Collaborative and interdisciplinary research creates both opportunities for funding as well as management challenges,” said Cindy Kiel, assistant vice chancellor for research services and executive director of the Research Office. “In recognition of the importance of fostering cross-cutting research and to provide tools to faculty to create more competitive proposals in an increasingly competitive environment, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research are co-sponsoring this biennial conference.

“In addition to timely trends and proposal development information from potential sponsors, this will be an exciting opportunity to network with colleagues from other disciplines and begin the important process of finding where the intersections of science, art and scholarship can create novel and innovative answers to the research questions of our time. Please bring your expertise and questions to make this a fulfilling and memorable event,” Kiel said.

LINC will be structured around speakers, panelists and breakout sessions.

Day 1, jointly hosted by SIUE and SLU Feb. 2, will focus on agency programs and will feature Sally Rockey, Ph.D., acting deputy director for extramural research at the National Institutes of Health.

WUSTL will host the second day of programming at the Danforth University Center Feb. 3. Funding trends, proposal development, merit review and project management will be addressed during Day 2. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., vice chancellor for research, will moderate the day’s plenary session, titled “Successful Interdisciplinary Science.”

Highlighted federal guests include Thomas N. Cooley, chief financial officer and director of the Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management at the National Science Foundation, and Linda Blevins, Ph.D., physical scientist at the Office of the Deputy Director for Science Programs at the Department of Energy.

“This is a very special opportunity to hear from our most important partners in the research arena and to get their views on present and future trends in this realm,” Stanley said.

“It is not often that we can bring such high-ranking leaders at the federal level to the Midwest, and I encourage our faculty to take full advantage of this chance,” Stanley said.

Day 3 will be hosted by both UMSL and SLU Feb. 4 and will feature discussions on technology transfer and the relationship between industry and academe.

The three days of programming have comprehensive objectives:

• One is supporting junior faculty members by offering exposure to large collaborative activities and interdisciplinary thinking and to problem-solving models outside their fields of expertise.

• Another is encouraging sponsored collaborations and scholarship by prompting dialogue with colleagues who have experienced successful interdisciplinary partnerships.

• The third is shaping research agenda through invitations to federal agency representatives and key faculty members to discuss the direction of future and current research.

Registration is free for faculty from St. Louis-area institutions.

For more information, visit research.wustl.edu/LINC.