Office for Sponsored Programs Special Topic Workshops and Events

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The Office for Sponsored Programs and the Office for Research periodically offer workshops and networking sessions to assist research faculty. The special topic sessions are offered throughout the semester and announced as scheduled through the Research News Listserv and sent to the Associate Deans for Research. Registration for these events will be administered directly by the Office for Sponsored Programs. If you have questions about a specific session, please notify the registration contact for that session or call the Office for Sponsored Programs at 348-5152.

Special Topics Workshop and Event Archive

Upcoming Special Topics


Networking Session: Poverty

Description: Poverty can have a lasting negative impact on individuals, neighborhoods, cities, states, and even entire countries. Collaborative research, encompassing a wide range of disciplines, is needed to study both the causes and effects of poverty. Additionally, multi-disciplinary research is needed to determine effective responses and interventions that mitigate the harmful influence of poverty on individuals, groups, and communities.

This networking session, led by Lisa Lindquist-Dorr, A & S Associate Dean for Research for Social Sciences, and Debra McCallum, Director of the Institute for Social Science Research, has been developed to explore and encourage new UA collaborations with research faculty studying poverty. Different from the speed networking format, this session will have an emphasis on group discussion and participation. 

We encourage faculty with active research or service projects, as well as those with interest in future projects, to participate in this networking opportunity. Some of the expected research discussion areas are: general well-being, health, education, social mobility, and geographic influences. All faculty with research interests in poverty are encouraged to attend. This includes, but is not limited to all social science disciplines, Social Work, Nursing, Education, Economics, Gender and Race Studies, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Communications, Law, Community Health Sciences, Human Environmental Sciences, and Geography.

Date:            Friday, March 3, 2017
Time:            2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location:      Northeast Medical Building

Registration:  Due to necessary pre-session planning, registration by February 20, 2017 is requested. Register online here.

Questions:  Contact Angie Shotts.


Networking Session: Telemedicine

Description: Telemedicine, the process of providing health care via various forms of technology, has growing promise and application for many fields. Also referred to as Telehealth, research opportunities exist for faculty in the health and mental health disciplines (medicine, nursing, social work, nutrition, psychology, etc.), as well as education, engineering, computer science, communications, and business. While there are several existing distance care projects at UA, a cohesive effort around, or platform for, telehealth does not currently exist.

We encourage faculty with active telehealth projects and those with interest in future projects to participate in this networking opportunity. Different from the speed networking format, participants will share their research expertise, current and past telemedicine projects, and future research interests with the group and explore new collaborations and potential projects.

It is expected the session will be the beginning of a group effort that focuses on increasing knowledge of UA projects and potential collaborators, developing a communication structure, and exploring multidisciplinary funding opportunities.

Date:            Thursday, January 19, 2017
Time:            2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location:      College of Community Health Sciences Library

Registration:  Registration is not required but is appreciated. Click here to register.


Completed Events



Speed Networking: The BRAIN Initiative

Description: Speed Networking is a fun and fast-paced way to bring together faculty researchers from different disciplines who otherwise might not meet. The goal is to provide a structured format in which researchers can explore new partnerships outside their usual group of collaborators, discuss research expertise, spark new approaches, and evaluate the potential for future collaboration.

From  The President’s 2017 Budget proposes to increase the Federal investment in the BRAIN Initiative from about $300 million in FY 2016 to more than $434 million in FY 2017. Proposed investments by NIH, NSF, DARPA, DOE, IARPA, and FDA are described below.

From The Significance - The BRAIN Initiative has the potential to do for neuroscience what the Human Genome Project did for genomics by supporting the development and application of innovative technologies that can create a dynamic understanding of brain function. It aims to help researchers uncover the mysteries of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The initiative will accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought. These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, and shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior.

Date:            Friday, November 11, 2016

Faculty Workshop Series - How to Speak with a Program Officer

Description: Led by Dr. John Higginbotham, Associate Vice President for Research, this workshop will provide guidance to research faculty on how and when to communicate with funding agency program officers. Sometimes communicating with a program officer can be intimidating. It can also be difficult to interpret the bureaucratic-speak. This workshop will cover these topics and many more.

Date:            October 5, 2016

Speed Networking: Precision Medicine

Description: From the NIH, “Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. We must gain better insights into the biological, environmental, and behavioral influences on these diseases to make a difference for the millions of Americans who suffer from them.” This networking opportunity is designed to create new faculty and staff collaborations in anticipation of future research funding opportunities.

Date:            Friday, September 16, 2016

Working Group: Water Science, Policy, and Law

Description: Designed to continue efforts to develop interdisciplinary collaborations and submissions of external proposals that began with the previous networking session, this will be the first meeting of the working group. Led by Andrew Ernest, Director of The Environmental Institute, and Bennett Bearden, Director of the Water Policy and Law Institute, the working group encourages all faculty with research interests in related disciplines. 

The overall goal is to establish the UA as the state’s leader in holistic water resources research and to provide forward-thinking institutions, organizations and governments with construction resolution of emerging challenges at the intersection of water science, policy, and law, emphasizing sound science, applied research, economic development, public policy development, strategic counseling, water diplomacy, mediation of conflicts, crisis management, creative dispute resolution and enhanced relations with stakeholders and community groups.

Working Group: Juvenile Justice

Description:  The participants of the Juvenile Justice Networking session during the fall semester will be meeting to continue discussions begun during the session. UA faculty with research interests and expertise in juvenile justice and related areas are invited to join the group that includes representatives from Tuscaloosa community agencies. The November networking session included representatives from the Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Probation office, Juvenile Court, the Tuscaloosa Police Department, Bradford Health Services, Tuscaloosa’s One Place, and many others.

The working group meetings are a time for open discussion, planning a regular meeting time, and setting initial goals for the group.

Contact Jill Beck for information on future meeting dates.

Speed Networking: Persons with Disabilities

Description:  Networking opportunity for UA faculty researching advancements in the services and interventions available for children and adults with disabilities. Intervention areas include all aspects of an individual’s life, across his or her whole lifespan. Research or service learning areas might include, but are not limited to: education, mental health, physical access and ability to participate in community activities; child development; juvenile justice and adult forensic issues; child welfare; protection of civil rights; and technology to assist with independence. Faculty with skills in supplementary areas, such as data analysis and social media, are encouraged to attend. Representatives from ADAP (Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program), Brewer-Porch Children’s Center, and Rise School will be participating in the session.

Date:              Friday, February 19, 2016