(Written Feb. 25, 2019)
In my role as vice president for Research and Economic Development at the University of Idaho, I am honored to represent the university’s research successes and impacts in discussions with business, industry and government at the local, state, regional and national levels. This week, I am “headed to the Hill” in Washington, D.C., for a series of meetings with our congressional delegation, federal funding agencies and professional associations.
Yesterday, I represented Idaho as a board member at the 2019 EPSCoR/IDeA Coalition and Foundation annual meeting. Today, I had the privilege of introducing the keynote speaker, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, who is the new Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. I had lunch seated between Daniel Osborn, a science policy analyst from the Department of Defense, and Dr. Elizabeth Ambos, executive director of the Council on Undergraduate Research, and we discussed several potential opportunities for U of I researchers.
This afternoon, I am headed to the Russell Senate Office building to visit with Senator James Risch’s legislative assistant, Ayla Neumeyer. I am not the only one from Idaho in D.C. this week, though. We have many faculty and staff members attending conferences, meeting with our delegation, representing Idaho at professional meetings and having conversations with their program officers. Below is the representation that we are fortunate to have in D.C. this week:
- Professor Alan Kolok, director of the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute, is participating in the National Institute of Water Resources meeting.
- Professor Joe Law, director of the Idaho NASA EPSCoR, and Susie Johnson, program manager, NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium, are attending the National Space Grant Directors’ spring meeting.
- Assistant Professor of Physics Andreas Vasdekis is participating in the Department of Energy Principal Investigators’ meeting, presenting his project and recent results.
As part of this EPSCoR/IDeA meeting, I am joined by David Tuthill Jr., Idaho State EPSCoR Committee; University Distinguished Professor Carolyn Bohach, director, Idaho INBRE; Rick Schumaker, EPSCoR project administrator and assistant project director; Professor Barrie Robison, director of the Institute of Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies; and Associate Professor Scott Minnich, associate director of Idaho INBRE. We will be talking about successes of our programs including the new $24 million National Science Foundation EPSCoR award and our $97.5 million IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) award. Tomorrow, we have visits to the offices of Senator James Risch, Senator Mike Crapo, Congressman Mike Simpson and Congressman Russ Fulcher to highlight the importance of EPSCoR/IDeA programs to Idaho, and thank them for their support of these programs.
These face-to-face visits with our elected officials are an extremely effective form of advocacy. Such meetings can be time consuming, but they are also fun and highly rewarding. Relationships are often the key to effective communication.
The Office of Research and Economic Development is very interested in collaborating with U of I researchers who are meeting with our delegation, federal funding agencies or other stakeholders. Our goals are to help promote your fantastic research, scholarship and creative activities, and to coordinate our messaging with one voice. In fact, you may be aware that the ORED Meet Your Sponsor program provides faculty travel funding for in-person meetings with prospective sponsors. So please keep in touch with ORED, and help us support the research mission of the University of Idaho.
Janet E. Nelson Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Interdisciplinary Research Lab Integrates Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences
The Confluence Lab, an interdisciplinary research lab, was founded by Erin James and Jennifer Ladino of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences...