2019 Germination Workshop

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois), in partnership with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), invite submissions for participation in an NSF-funded project designed to leverage a diverse community of researchers to develop innovative research projects around the topic of energy sustainability. The primary objective of this effort is to build a diverse collaborative community that is committed to producing innovative research proposals to be submitted to funding agencies in mid-2019.

Each partner organization is seeking at least four representative participants. These persons can be at the level of graduate students (senior level), early-stage faculty, or postdoctoral scholars in any field relevant to energy sustainability. Each is expected to participate in:

  1. a 2.5-day workshop in January 2019 to engage in a structured collaboration process designed to stimulate the production of research ideas
  2. a several month “gestation” period during which self-identified sub-groups will develop research ideas into grant proposals; and,
  3. second and third workshops in approximately May 2019 and October 2019, which are designed to crystallize the research proposals for submission to funding agencies

Representatives from funding agencies and established researchers in sustainable energy will be involved throughout this process to facilitate team and proposal development. Travel and lodging costs for the workshops will be covered with grant resources.

The sixteen scholars selected for participation in the process will represent a diversity of academic disciplines, races, ethnicities, genders, geographies, and institutions. The project seeks to create a community of scholars who can support one another in generating exciting new ideas for research on energy sustainability.

Participants will be selected on the basis of:

  • Research promise
  • Interest in energy sustainability
  • Ability to collaborate positively with a research team diverse in terms of disciplinary, research, and life experiences
  • Institutional support for growing research interest and capacity

letter of recommendation/support from the applicant’s department chair, dean and/or academic vice president/provost will be required along with each application. Please have your letter-writer submit your letter via email to germination@ncsa.illinois.edu.

Applicants should also be willing to participate in a research component of the project that will involve interviews and surveys to capture their experiences with the community.

The project proposal summarizes the aim thus:

This project draws on social scientific research to implement a platform designed to stimulate interdisciplinary idea development from ideation through proposal preparation. It attempts to structure this process so that individuals from widely disparate cultural, educational, and disciplinary backgrounds can collaborate in developing creative and potentially transformational projects addressing scientific grand challenges. As such, it offers a comprehensive approach, which goes beyond techniques that offer procedural support for only some phases of the process. It also brings together scholars from at least four groups of equal sizes with substantively different backgrounds in terms of life experience and culture, enabling us to assess the hypothesis that this process will stimulate creative/transformational thinking beyond that achieved by groups having more homogeneous compositions.

The deadline for applications is November 12, 2018. We plan to notify participants of their acceptance in early December.

If you have any questions, please contact Will Barley at barley@illinois.edu.

Chicago, Illinois

7 Jan 2019 - 9 Jan 2019