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Objectives: A 2013 Institute of Medicine report urged researchers to “engage in additional substantive and productive collaborations” to address important clinical/translational science questions. To encourage team science among our researchers, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences and Center for Clinical and Translational Research hosted a speed networking event, specifically targeting engineers, clinicians, and basic scientists; an analysis of the event is below.
Methods: Invitations were distributed to clinicians, engineers, and basic scientists. To maximize interactions without increasing time spent at the event, researchers were divided into three groups. The event was planned such that each group would meet everyone from the other two groups; researchers were placed into appropriate groups according to their interests. Seated at tables of three, attendees introduced themselves and discussed their research interests for three minutes; then they rotated according to their group’s instructions. Lunch was provided afterwards to give attendees an opportunity to follow up with potential collaborators.
Results: Twenty-one faculty researchers attended the speed networking event, which took about 30 minutes, excluding lunch. Using a 5-point Likert scale, all participants selected “strongly agree” or “agree” to respond to questions about whether the event was a valuable use of their time. Also, 53% of attendees “strongly” agreed with the statement “I met a potential collaborator” at the event.
Discussion: Subjective evaluations show that researchers see speed networking as an effective way to meet potential collaborators. Objective data including sustained research partnerships and collaborative grant and publication submissions will be tracked.
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VCU Libraries Faculty and Staff Presentations