Last spring, we missed one of, in my opinion, the highlights of the academic year: our annual Research Symposium.
I greatly enjoy the camaraderie the Symposium provides: meeting with faculty from other disciplines, sharing ideas, brainstorming, learning, celebrating our successes while game-planning for new opportunities. In addition to numerous interdisciplinary workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities, we announce our Researchers of the Year and honor our newest recipients of the University Research, Scholarship and Artistic Achievement Awards. The event is a fitting end to the semester.
We launched the university-wide symposium four years ago and we have seen participation increase each year. Last year, at least 150 people attended, and we had participants from every college, including attendees from our off-campus locations. Disrupting that momentum made cancelling last year’s Symposium even more disappointing, even if it was necessary.
I am happy to report that my Faculty Advisory Board is working hard to bring back the Research Symposium in May, possibly in a hybrid online/in-person format. Please mark your calendar for May 4 and look for future updates on the Research Symposium webpage. The Advisory Board is working hard to establish an agenda, line up presenters and finalize the many details that go into such a large event. You’ll likely be hearing from the Advisory Board as they gather input on making this event a success. Please share your ideas and plan to attend in May.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been painful for all of us, the Division of Research included, and I have been working to cushion the financial sting to our own business operations without disrupting the services our office provides to you. That said, I think it is important, particularly now, to continue to support your research through our R-Initiative funding programs. We just posted calls for proposal for four R-Initiatives:
- Clemson University Core Incentivized Access (CU-CIA), which provides access to our core facilities at no cost;
- Research Fellows, which provides funding for hiring and training researchers;
- Major Research Instrumentation, which provides funds to purchase or upgrade research equipment;
- And SUCCEEDS, which aims to position interdisciplinary faculty teams to successfully compete for significant external funding.
For the R-Initiatives, we are trying to use limited resources strategically, while reducing some of the burden on you. To do that, we have lifted the cost-share requirements from some competitions this year in hopes this will provide you more opportunities to submit a proposal. However, because our resources are limited, proposals that are able to offer cost-share may receive preference. Please review details on these R-Initiatives using the hyperlinks above and take advantage of these opportunities.
Finally, I would like to commend you all again on your productivity through this pandemic. I will be meeting with the Board of Trustees Research and Economic Development Committee later this month, and you give me a lot to brag about. I will be sharing faculty features provided by each college and including numerous announcements on various awards and honors I have read on the Clemson News site. As always, my report to trustees will be posted online after the meeting.
While I am still finalizing the report and gathering data, it appears that we continue to post strong results in our research metrics, thanks to your hard work. There is much for us all to be proud of. Thank you again for your ongoing support of scholarship and discovery at Clemson University.