The Provost's second Multidisciplinary Research Symposium, held February 12, 2016, was designed to spur research that reaches across fields and to bring researchers together under the theme of Security (Broadly Defined).
Researchers and interdisciplinary innovators were encouraged to attend and present posters in response to the pressing issues and research challenges that face us today. All proposals were vetted through a competitive peer review process. The deans from the Volgenau School of Engineering, the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs served as co-chairs.
After the symposium, a competition for seed grants was held to help teams advance their research agenda, support truly innovative ideas, foster collaboration across colleges and academic units, strengthen undergraduate and graduate student learning experiences, and provide a solid grounding for future funding.
Researchers from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences were part of 25 proposal submissions and six funded awards. Awards for the six proposals were made in all three categories (Tiers 1, 2 and 3) with two awards apiece.
The first Multidisciplinary Research Symposium, held in April 2015 and chaired by College of Science Dean Peggy Agouris, attracted widespread participation and attention. With about 250 registrants and 54 poster presentations overall, the packed schedule also featured panel discussions, a keynote address over lunch and afternoon pitch sessions - all designed to introduce colleagues, discover common interests, formulate external funding strategies, and create or strengthen multidisciplinary collaborations and projects.
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences was well represented with more than 75 registered faculty, staff and students in attendance, and 14 poster presentations and pitch sessions.
The multidisciplinary research momentum continued to build in 2014-2015 thanks to $500,000 in seed grants awarded by the Provost’s Office. In 2015, the office funded 14 projects working at the intersections of the disciplines, which could in turn lead to Mason researchers landing larger grants as they continue their research. Six of the 14 funded projects included faculty researchers from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.