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Virtual SPARKS: International Research Event Features NSF’s Rebecca Keiser

International research collaborations have been shown to support robust outcomes due to the diversity of viewpoints, training backgrounds, and methods. In addition, leveraging equipment, research sites, or resources across the globe can be essential to the project and publications with international co-authors tend to increase scope of impact of the publication. Yet, faculty involved in international research face unique challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To offer tips and share experiences, UT’s Office of Research and Engagement (ORE) and the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) are partnering to present Virtual SPARKS: International Research during the Time of COVID-19 on Friday, Feb. 12, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please register to attend here.

Launched in 2017, SPARKS stands for “Seeking Partnerships to Advance Research, Knowledge, and Science.” SPARKS events facilitate new collaborations among faculty and connects disciplines with common interests or research opportunities. Past events have focused on anthropology and communications, specific NIH opportunities, adverse childhood experiences, substance abuse disorders, remote sensing, and Army Research Office efforts.

“We’re excited to partner with the research development staff to facilitate this event,” says Jamie McGowan, director of CGE’s Global Research Office. “We hope to help faculty researchers decide whether to pursue international opportunities and how best to maintain existing international relationships.”

The session will include a presentation by Rebecca Keiser, head of the National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science and Engineering, and will involve lightning talks by presenters who will share their tips and experiences on launching and maintaining internationally engaged research:

  • Tom Gill, Ag Leadership, Education and Communications & Smith International Center
  • Tova Holmes, Physics
  • Julia Jaekel, Child and Family Studies & Psychology
  • Dawnie Steadman, Anthropology & Forensic Anthropology Center
  • Krista Wiegand, Political Science & Baker Center

“Many faculty are re-evaluating whether, when and exactly how to re-engage and conduct their research internationally,” McGowan says. “This event should help inform those decisions and connect faculty with others who seek to maximize their global impact.”

For more information on this event, contact McGowan at jmcgowan10@utk.edu.