Campus-wide collaboration to Surface Big & Bold Research Opportunities 

Spring ’24 RIR: Community Vitality

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), with support of Presidential Strategic Plan success funding, will host its second of two Research & Innovation Roundtables for the 2023-24 academic year on Friday, March 8, 2024. The next RIR is intended to foster collaborative team development around the overarching topic of Community Vitality.

Potential areas of focus for the Spring RIR include, but are not limited to, topics such as:

  • Identifying key indicators to provide an effective and comprehensive measure of community vitality;
  • Impacts of economic factors such as employment opportunities and income distribution;
  • How educational opportunities and quality of education affect long-term viability;
  • The contributions of cultural diversity to community vibrancy and resilience;
  • How public policy decisions – local, regional, national – influence community vitality;
  • The role infrastructure, including transportation and public spaces, plays in fostering community vitality;
  • The influence of technology and digital connectivity on community vitality; and
  • How community-led initiatives and grassroots movements contribute to the revitalization and sustainability of communities.

Effective exploration of the many varied facets of Community Vitality will require the insights and expertise of engineers, basic and applied scientists, Extension specialists, humanists, social scientists, architects, and artists, and could include collaboration with external stakeholders.

The OVPR launched the RIR program in the 2022 fiscal year as a platform for bringing together many different voices from across campus to share varying perspectives and areas of expertise leading to self-assembly of multidisciplinary teams competing for Strategic Plan success funding and/or Presidential Interdisciplinary Research funding.

The inaugural program of FY22 addressed the topics of:

  • Environmental and Economic Security;
  • Agriculture Cybersecurity; and
  • Leveraging Iowa State University and University of Iowa strengths for a Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Innovation Hub.

The program was continued in the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years, with the OVPR hosting RIR explorations on these overarching topics:

“We’re delighted with how our faculty have embraced our Research & Innovation Roundtables over the past couple of years,” said Vice President for Research, Peter Dorhout. “Our office works closely with our deans and associate deans of research to identify critical research issues that impact society and play to our university’s strengths as a research institution. The level of engagement we’ve had with our RIRs reinforces the keen interest our scholars and researchers across a multitude of disciplines have in working collaboratively to tackle real-world challenges that are impacting our society.”

“We also pay particularly close attention to potential external funding opportunities, and we use the RIR program to position our researchers to be prepared for those,” Dorhout added. “The issue of Community Vitality has a great deal of momentum and support across a range of federal and state agencies. We’re confident focusing on this topic in the next RIR will foster the formation of teams and the creation of innovative ideas that will generate interest among extramural funding agencies.”

RIR Details: Spring ’24

TOPIC: Community Vitality

LOCATION: Memorial Union

DATE: Friday, March 8, 2024

TIME: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (a full lunch will be provided)

Participating faculty will be expected to prepare and present a one-minute (maximum) recorded introduction to their expertise and interest in the overarching Community Vitality topic in advance of the event. These brief introductions will be shared with event participants as preview material prior to March 8. Step-by-step instructions for completing your video are available here, and the Power Point outline template for placing and submitting your video can be found here.

During the event, RIR participants will engage in several facilitated breakout discussions and pitch project ideas. Additional time for self-assembly team identification will follow the breakout discussions. Instructions regarding Requests for Proposals for those interested in forming a team looking for funding will be shared at the event and resulting proposals will be evaluated by the event facilitators and funded based on interest, connection to the Strategic Plan, and matching funds.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, March 1, 2024.

NOTE: To help form diverse breakout discussion groups and more effectively facilitate topic ideation and team formation, participants will be asked to prioritize prompt questions at the time of registration. To streamline the registration process, you may preview and use this worksheet to prioritize your choices prior to completing the registration form.