Pitching science research

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May 21, 2015

Academy for Global Engagement hosts top government agencies June 3-4 to attract international resources 

To cultivate the next generation of researchers, Michigan State University is focusing on solving the most pressing problems around the globe. 

"The academy provides a venue for scholars from different departments and nations to collaborate on solving some of the greatest scientific challenges of the day," said Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering.

The Academy for Global Engagement is convening its second annual gathering to teach early-to mid-career faculty members how to pitch scientific ideas and grow research and development resources from traditional and new international funding sources. MSU is keeping the university’s footprint active in international research by creating an approach that is unique enough for program officers from the country’s top government agencies to travel to East Lansing to participate. 

The Convening of the Academy for Global Engagement is June 3-4 in Brody Auditorium, Room 112 and the Kellogg Center. Among the invited guests will be Phyllis Yoshida, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for Asia and the Americas. 

MSU President Lou Anna Simon will open the second-annual event that includes a dozen representatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the World Bank.  MSU faculty members will meet with industry partners and Washington, D.C. program officers to focus on ways to make research ideas relevant in the policy world. 

Panel discussions include: “How to talk about your science in a compelling and intriguing way so that funders listen and remember,” and “Understanding federal funding, congressional appropriations, and agency priorities.” 

Leo Kempel, dean of the College of Engineering, said the academy’s goals are especially relevant as we are building global partnerships and moving into new markets for commercialization of new technologies and growing innovations. 

“The academy is an outstanding effort to introduce our faculty to new sources of support and resources around the globe,” Kempel said. “We’ve seen tremendous opportunities to bring new funding sources to the table and provide support to our faculty in managing overseas programs. 

“The academy provides a venue for scholars from different departments and nations to collaborate on solving some of the greatest scientific challenges of the day,” Kempel continued. “Global research program directors Mary Anne Walker and Gretchen Neisler have done an outstanding job of organizing this faculty development initiative.” 

The academy is now in its second year of operation. It has already seen 22 new partnerships and $5 million in new funding sources.Roozbeh Dargazany, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is among the current fellows of the Academy for Global Engagement.

Among new resources are investments from Spain and the Netherlands, with private company involvement. 

The Academy for Global Engagement is a faculty development initiative sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Engineering, International Studies and Programs, and the Provost. It offers early to mid career faculty members training and mentoring to help broaden their global research portfolio. 

MSU currently conducts research and projects in 176 countries around the world, averaging approximately $60 million in annual international research programming.