Planning to write an NSF grant proposal? Hoping for letters of collaboration for your broader impact component? Not even sure what/how your broader impact component will be? These typically comprise major challenges for UT investigators. One of the best solutions is to begin collaborating NOW, even before you start writing your proposal. This way, you’ll already have something extant you can document and build into any number of strong proposals, along with an extant partner who is much more likely to provide you with the letters you need. Furthermore, there are many terrific opportunities for faculty who are willing to partner now, when the need has been expressed to those of us on campus who are watching for these collaborative opportunities, rather than later, when (and if) a grant proposal is funded.
One such opportunity (deadline to participate is next week!) is the annual Howard Baker Public Policy Challenge. Much of the organization and support is already provided for you on this one, with faculty leaders from all disciplines called upon to serve as advisors/mentors to student teams. With issues provided by an external organization or from the student team itself, the teams will each create and draft a 1-2 page executive summary of a policy brief and create a 5 minute slideshow presentation that provides a solution to the problem. The challenge only runs from September – November, steering clear of interrupting Fall Break or finals. If your team is one of the top five teams, you will move on to the Finals in January – February.