University of Massachusetts Amherst

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New Principal Investigators Take on Grant Challenges

New Principal Investigators from across campus gathered at the Cape Cod Lounge on Friday the 30th of September to attend a unique and fresh workshop which was collaboratively presented by The Office of Research Development and the Center for Research on Families entitled “I’m a PI!, Now What?”

This was a workshop for faculty prepared by faculty and it appealed to over 50 attendees representing areas of UMass such as Nursing, Astronomy, Biochemistry and Geosciences.

Almost 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.

Maureen Perry-Jenkins, Professor in the Psychology Department, presented concise and poignant material that covered how a faculty member would start to administer, team-lead and disseminate a funded research grant. The challenge most PI’s have is maintaining an extraordinary level of research productivity while balancing so many other tasks. This workshop provided a road map to the somewhat daunting path these researchers face.  Attendees were then able to meet with their peers and discuss their particular challenges. Future workshops have been planned for the Fall which will cover Managing your Budget, Managing your Research Team and Publicizing and Summarizing you Research.

Special thanks go out to Lisa Scott (Psychology Dept.) and Sofiya Alhassan (Kinesiology Dept.). These two Principal Investigators allowed the CRF team to shadow their first 6 months. Thanks to their transparency and candidness we were able to learn volumes.  Keep an eye out for upcoming workshops this Fall!