If you are a Washington University in St. Louis faculty member with an interest in developing teaching or research collaborations with colleagues in other departments or schools, a program from the Office of the Provost can help forge such a connection.
The university’s “Bring Your Own Idea” (BYOI) grant program, now in its third year, funds informal gatherings where faculty working on common subject matters can become acquainted and, ideally, build relationships that serve as the foundation for future research and teaching collaborations.
Faculty are invited to submit proposals that address “big picture,” contemporary topics of research or teaching that are broad enough to draw faculty from more than one school.
During the two previous rounds of funding, 20 topic areas were accepted, resulting in a range of successful activities.
“The range of possibilities for BYOI groups is limited only by the creativity of the proposers, and faculty proposers need not be sure in advance where the conversations may lead. For example, BYOI groups have established networks for guest lectures in WashU classes, assembled transdisciplinary bibliographies for research and teaching enrichment, generated new courses, produced artistic works, and drafted research grant applications,” said Marion Crain, vice provost and the Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law.
“The program is particularly well-suited to initiating conversations on evolving areas of research or teaching interest that cross school-boundaries, though it can also be used to sustain or enhance them,” Crain added.
In this funding round, priority will be given to groups interested in collaborating on new interdisciplinary courses, particularly first-year courses. Such courses may be eligible for support through the provost’s Cross-School Interdisciplinary Teaching Grant Program.
The selected proposals receive funding from the provost’s office to support a series of informal gatherings — anything from breakfast or lunch meetings to coffees or cocktail hours — to be held between May and December of 2016.
The faculty members who propose the successful topics organize the discussions and suggest faculty to be invited to the group. The gatherings, which the provost’s office will help schedule and arrange, will connect at least eight faculty members from at least two schools.
To learn more about the proposal process and to meet faculty who have had successful proposals, the provost’s office is holding a BYOI Celebration Reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 7, in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge.
Provost Holden Thorp will make remarks at 4:15 p.m. To attend the reception, visit the RSVP site.
To read about the previous grant recipients and their proposals, visit the Office of the Provost faculty resources site.
For details on submitting a proposal, visit the application site. Proposals are due by April 1.