ISSR PI Workshop | Creating and Maintaining a Research Team

Illustration of five human figures linked arm in arm against a rose-colored background, with large gears floating above their heads
Monday, March 27, 2023 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Online Event - Login credentials via email for registered participants

A key aspect of being a productive researcher is establishing and maintaining an effective research team across all stages of one's academic career. Within the research infrastructure, research teams consist of different individuals playing different roles and incorporates graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to interdisciplinary faculty members across campus and from various academic institutions. As the PI, it is essential to have the skill set to determine who to include in your team and how to manage, motivate, and mentor your research team.

The invited panelist brings together research from various disciplines to discuss how to create and maintain research teams. They will discuss aspects of creating different forms of research teams throughout their academic careers. They will also discuss strategies that have and have not worked in maintaining their research teams.

ISSR PI Workshop Series: Engaging Research Teams & Community Partnerships

This panel is the second event in ISSR's three-part workshop series designed to help you build strong and effective collaborations in your research projects. Join us on February 27 to gather lessons on building community partnerships for research, and on April 24 to discuss working with undergraduate researchers.

Moderator Jason Kamilar - is Professor of Anthropology and Graduate Program Director of Anthropology at UMass Amherst, and the incoming Director of ISSR. He directs the Comparative Primatology Lab, which supports faculty and graduate students across university partners to investigate primate behavior, ecology, and evolution using an interdisciplinary, integrative and comparative approach. Dr. Kamilar is also Editor-in-Chief of Evolutionary Anthropology.

Laurel Smith-Doerr – is Professor of Sociology, PI for UMass Amherst NSF ADVANCE-IT grant. UMass ADVANCE, through the power of collaboration, seeks to transform the campus toward faculty gender equity—including equity for BIWOC faculty. As part of the resources for equitable collaboration, UMass ADVANCE provides grants to mutual mentoring teams of faculty. As part of the relationship skill-building for collaboration and equity, UMass ADVANCE has developed faculty peer mentoring training (based on the NRMN model for graduate student mentoring). As part of the recognition of mentoring, UMass ADVANCE has established annual faculty peer Mentoring awards. Dr. Smith-Doerr led the Institute for Social Science Research at UMass as the Inaugural Director from 2013-2019, and developed interdisciplinary programs of professional development and scientific training for graduate students and faculty. She has co-authored with many graduate students, and supported 10+ PhD students on grants at UMass during her time on campus. Last summer, she received an SBS RISE/CJLS grant for supporting an undergraduate research assistant on an ADVANCE related study.

Liz Evans -  is a Professort in the Department of Health Promotion & Policy within the School of Public Health & Health Sciences at UMass Amhers.  Dr. Evans was awarded her PhD in public health from UCLA in 2016. She joined UMass in 2017, after which she launched several community-engaged research projects.  Most of her work examines how health care systems and public policies can better promote health and wellness over the life course, particularly for individuals at risk for opioid and other substance use disorders.  Now she co-leads the Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network, or “MassJCOIN,” a $10 million NIH-funded research hub. As part of this work, Dr. Evans uses individually linked administrative “big data” to study how interactions with the carceral-legal system can impact health outcomes. A related interest is focused on how to use big data for public health in ethical ways. Liz is a member of the Public Health Council where she advises the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on major policy decisions.  The UMass Provost’s Office awarded her the 2019 Distinguished Community Engagement Research award and the 2022 Spotlight Scholar award.

Rebecca Spencer – is a Professor in Psychological and Brain Sciences and director of the Somneuro Lab at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Dr. Spencer earned a PhD in neuroscience at Purdue University and subsequently trained at the University of California, Berkeley as a research scientist.  Dr. Spencer’s research examines sleep’s function across the lifespan. In particular, her research points to changes in sleep with development and aging and how these changes influence waking cognitive function. She has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, appearing in top journals such as Science and Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. She has received continuous funding from the U. S. National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation for the past 18 years.