Out of Silos into Interdisciplinary Collaborations: One School's Path

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Ohio State University. Office of Research

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This session will focus on the UW-Madison School of Education Grand Challenges initiative, which has supported 21 new research partnerships and just completed its third round of grant funding. The UW-Madison School of Education is home to 10 departments ranging from education policy to kinesiology to art. One of the main goals of the Grand Challenges program is to move faculty out of academic silos and into promising, new, interdisciplinary collaborations. Presenters will share the story of the SOE Grand Challenges with an emphasis on this process. Attendees will hear how our team facilitated interdisciplinary faculty collaborations that have the potential to magnify both external funds coming into our institution and social impact. In addition, presenters will focus on how the program at UW-Madison is distinct from other university-led Grand Challenges, including allowing faculty to articulate their own challenge, soliciting lots of feedback from faculty, offering grants of various sizes, having MFA students create posters to visually communicate faculty ideas, and providing multiple networking opportunities for faculty, staff, and students. The session will include time for a short Q&A session followed by a strategic brainstorming of what our next iteration of Grand Challenges could look like.