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'Dear Colleagues': Productive collaborations

In his latest update for the campus community, Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw shares details about collaborative visits with Auburn and Kansas State, announces new members of the Faculty Research Advisory Committee, and more.

Dear Colleagues:

It is hard to believe that we are into November already. It seems like only last week when we started the semester, and now the holidays are closing in quickly.

I have been spending a good deal of time in Washington, D.C., and other locations this fall seeking funding opportunities for our faculty. We've had some very real successes in that regard, and it's certainly encouraging to find that we have great friends and satisfied research sponsors all across the nation. This is a tribute to the hard work of our faculty over the years, and I want you to know that it's recognized, internally and externally.

While we are on the subject of hard work, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the efforts of the various offices that support the research enterprise at Mississippi State. They often work quietly in the background, but are an essential part of our success in research. They include the Office of Regulatory Compliance and Safety, the Office of Research Security, Sponsored Programs Administration, the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer, Laboratory Animal Resources, Research and Technology Corporation, and the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park. Often the only time they are mentioned when there is a problem; take the opportunity to thank these hard-working and dedicated Bulldogs.

Collaborative visits

Last Friday, we hosted eight members of research administration from Auburn University, including my counterpart, Dr. John Mason, Associate Provost and Vice President for Research. The purpose of the visit was relationship building, and we explored ways that we might work more closely together.

As many of you know from personal experience, sharing ideas and problem-solving strategies between universities is always helpful and often provides new ideas that we might not otherwise consider. For example, members of the Office of Research and Economic Development recently visited Kansas State University's technology commercialization office to learn more about how they handle licenses and patents, as well as comparing their research enterprise to ours. Many good ideas were shared and stronger relationships were forged that will help us partner in the future.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with the chief research officers for the Southeastern Conference. We spent a day comparing notes, discussing challenges and solutions, with the result of several collaborative opportunities that we will be developing. In today's funding environment, multi-disciplinary, multi-institution efforts dominate, and Mississippi State is a proven strategic partner in research programs.

Cross-college research grants: Notices on the way this month

Many of you are waiting on the results of the cross-college research grant competition this year. We hope to announce those that will be funded within the next two weeks. I would like to fund as many as possible, but as always, our funding is limited. Look for responses to your grant requests by mid-November.

New members of the Faculty Research Advisory Committee

I want to welcome the newest members of my Faculty Research Advisory Committee (FRAC) and thank them for volunteering their time to assist this office. New members include Fiona McCarthy, College of Veterinary Medicine; John Poros, College of Art, Architecture and Design; Bethany Stich, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, College of Arts and Science; Richard Swann, Director, Sponsored Programs Administration; and Kui Xie, Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development, College of Education. This is a very important committee and acts as the faculty voice for my office.

Success stories

Getting the word out about what you are doing and sharing your research success stories are priorities for my office. Each year, we publish our Research Windows magazine that highlights faculty, students, staff and economic development activity created through research advancements at MSU. The 2011 issue is in its final stages of publication, and you should see it in print and on our website next month. I would invite you to take some time to look over it and see the broad range of activities we are engaged in and the impact that Mississippi State's research enterprise is making. The challenge is always how do we showcase the vast number of excellent faculty efforts; what you'll see is just a small sampling of these.

As always, I welcome your feedback on our efforts. Please feel free to contact me at any time with your suggestions, comments or concerns. In closing, please accept my gratitude for all you do to make us a Carnegie Foundation Very High Research Activity University. It all starts with you.

Go Dawgs!

— David


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