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Intellect

Faculty research speed-pitch results in major BYU collaborations

Event hosted by BYU Research Development brings faculty together across campus

  • Event is focused on linking faculty across disciplines
  • Roughly three dozen faculty presented this year
  • More than 80 percent of attendees found potential collaborators
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Stacey Shaw is a professor of social work, housed in the Joseph F. Smith Building. Derek Hansen is a professor of information technology; his office is in the Crabtree. Yet despite being far apart physically, and seemingly farther apart academically, the two have started a research collaboration focused on refugee efforts.

Their interdisciplinary connection was made in August at the Faculty Research Networking Event, a two-hour blitz where 30 faculty members across BYU speed pitched three-minute summaries of their research to each other and to about 40 additional faculty who didn't present.

This year professors from eight BYU colleges presented, covering everything from cardiovascular epidemiology to linguistic applications of computerized language corpora. Hansen presented on immersive educational simulations and connected with both Shaw and Cherice Montgomery, a professor of Spanish and Portuguese.

“Many of the greatest innovations and solutions come from mashing up concepts, technologies and methods from different disciplinary lenses,” said Hansen, who is now wrapping up a $1 million NSF-funded collaboration with faculty in the College of Fine Arts & Communications and the Fulton College of Engineering. “The BYU Speed Networking Event is the perfect venue to find collaborators and identify potential areas of overlap in an efficient and fun atmosphere.”

Other connections resulting from this year’s event included faculty from Health Sciences linking up with Psychology, and researchers in Microbiology & Molecular Biology connecting with Ancient Scripture.

Based on surveys of faculty who participated, more than 80 percent identified potential collaborators, said Conrad Monson, one of the event organizers and the research development specialist for the College of Life Sciences, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and the Fulton College of Engineering & Technology.

“The idea is to make faculty more familiar with research that is happening in different fields,” said Kristen Clarke Kellems, research development specialist for the College of Family, Home & Social Sciences. “We want to help them make connections with other faculty members who might be interested in collaborating.”

Providing additional support to Kellems and Monson is Sarah Dorff, an administrative assistant for research development in the STEM colleges, as well as several undergraduate students.

Although the Speed Networking Event has come and gone, the Research Development folks have several events planned for the rest of the academic year. Some of the lineup includes:

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Sept. 8
Crowdfunding Your Research Project
12 to 1 pm; 270 MB

Oct. 4
Faculty Grant Proposal Development Series: Persuasive Grant Proposal Writing
12 to 1 pm; 270 MB

Oct. 13
U.S. Department of Education Funding Seminar
11:30 am to 1 pm; 270 MB

See the full schedule here: http://researchdevelopment.byu.edu/

 

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