University of Massachusetts Amherst

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New Principal Investigators Take on Grant Challenges

New Principal Investigators from across campus gathered at the Campus Center on Friday the 10th of February to attend the “I’m a PI!, Now What?” workshop. This fresh approach to post award support for faculty was well received last semester, so collaborative efforts continued this spring between the Office of Research Development and the Center for Research on Families to host this popular forum.

This workshop (for faculty and prepared by faculty) appealed to over 30 attendees representing areas of UMass such as Public Health, Communication Disorders, Anthropology, Economics, Music and Dance, Biology and Psychology to name just a few. Administrators from both Hampshire and Amherst Colleges also came to gather information about post-award support to bring back to their campuses. 

Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Professor of Psychology, presented concise and poignant material about how to start, administer, lead and disseminate findings of a funded research grant. The challenge most PI’s have is maintaining research productivity while balancing so many other tasks. This workshop provided a road map to this somewhat daunting path. 

Attendees were enthusiastic and positive about the workshop.  “Great presentation by a knowledgeable and dynamic presenter. Good participation from people who know how this process works,” said faculty participant.

Future workshops have been planned for the spring: Managing your Budget”( March 14th at 9am). This smaller workshop will be hands on and demonstrate how to use the Summit system to track expenses.  Another workshop is planned for April 4th at 9am: “Managing your Research Team.” Topics will include hiring your staff, obstacles you might face, and keeping your team motivated.

Over a year ago, the Center for Research on Families was asked to build a program that mirrored the success of its Family Research Scholars Program in collaboration with the Office of Research Development.  This new effort launched a comprehensive program of post award research support for principal investigators on campus.

Please contact Wendy Varner or David Bosch at the Center with any questions or to register for future workshops.