Request for Application - Symposium

The Academic Integration initiative aims to advance the research and discovery efforts across the Cornell community by promoting and enhancing collaborations between the Ithaca and New York City campuses: Cornell University (Ithaca), Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), and Cornell Tech. By drawing on the outstanding and diverse work of Cornell colleagues based in Ithaca and New York City, the strength and impact of research across Cornell will be elevated to the next level of eminence. Fostering such collaborative interactions between research units aligns the scientific and educational activities of the greater Cornell community, resulting in improved research and educational opportunities. Creating synergies among Cornell investigators will also enable individual projects to transform into larger programs with increased impact and visibility.

The Office for Academic Integration has provided support for 10 symposia during the first two years of the Intercampus Research Symposia Grant. Six were funded during the first year, and four were funded the second year, of which three are scheduled for Fall 2019. The symposia have been hugely successful and have tackled topics ranging from Machine Learning in Medicine to Health Equities to the Fundamental Biology of RNA. The goals for these symposia are to acquaint faculty, students, and postdocs from our Ithaca and New York City campuses with each other around a scientific theme, share recent findings, and brainstorm ways to use what is learned at the symposia to jumpstart collaborative projects across our campuses.

Through the Intercampus Research Symposia Grant, the Office for Academic Integration aims to:

  • Better inform the Cornell research community (both faculty and students) about the diverse ongoing research efforts on the Ithaca and NYC campuses.
  • Stimulate discussions about potential novel intercampus collaborations by enabling face-to-face interactions.
  • Kindle new and expanded research collaborations among the campuses.
  • Identify tangible next steps towards building integrated research programs.
  • Help faculty prepare to respond to future internal and extramural RFAs for collaborative research grants.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Each proposed symposium must be led by at least one co-organizer from Ithaca and New York City and can be hosted on any campus. Co-organizers must meet University PI eligibility requirements.
  • Symposia should tackle a major research area of interest across campuses.
  • There must be balanced presenter and attendee participation from both Ithaca and New York City.
  • Logistics for visiting participants must be coordinated and secured by the symposium co-organizers.
  • There should be significant trainee (postdoctoral fellow and student) participation.
  • The symposium should be at least a day and a half long—involving one overnight stay for the visiting participants—and must consist of two parts:
  • Symposium and poster session is open to faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students, from all three campuses; and
  • Sessions consisting of focused Working Group (WG) meetings following the public symposium. The WGs should brainstorm opportunities for novel and/or expanded intercampus research collaborations in the area of the symposium and, if possible, how these could lead to intercampus program grant applications. WGs are for symposium registrants only.

New for 2019: Recurring Symposium Topic

Previously funded symposium topics qualify for another round of support on an every-other-year cycle. The subsequent symposium must be hosted on the opposite campus. For example, if the original symposium was in Ithaca, the subsequent symposium must be hosted in NYC.

Proposals must meet all Submission Guidelines (noted in the "Submission Guidelines" section below) as well as the following requirements that describe how hosting a subsequent symposium will continue to advance the discipline.

  • Provide a 1-page summary including:
    • Outcomes achieved as a result of the original symposium, such as new papers and grant submissions.
    • Anticipated benefits from hosting another symposium for the discipline, such as new and novel collaborations. 
    • How this symposium will continue to build the intercampus community around the discipline.Submission Guidelines

Submissions should contain the following information

  • Cover Letter (1-2 pages) co-signed by all of the symposium co-organizers, providing a brief background for the proposed symposium, highlighting the suitability of the organizers to lead this effort, and addressing specifically how this event fulfills the goals of the Intercampus Research Symposia outlined in the "Selection Criteria" section below.
  • Detailed agenda for the proposed symposium, including sessions with speakers and titles, and associated working groups topics. The agenda template should be used as a guide and may be adjusted appropriately.
  • A complete budget, using the budget template must be provided. Brief explanations, as noted on the template, should be included for the various budget categories.
  • Biosketches for all symposium co-organizers.
  • If your application is for a recurring symposium topic, include the additional 1-page summary of outcomes and anticipated benefits.

Submit the above Items in the order listed as a single pdf file using the following naming convention: Symposium Pl last name first initial_ Symposia201920.pdf (Example: SmithJ_Symposia201920.pdf). Margins should be at least one inch and font size not less than 11 point.

Only one application per symposium/team will be accepted.

Budget

Up to $25,000 will be provided per symposium to support meeting-related expenses including but not limited to:

  • Travel and Accommodations for visiting colleagues (faculty, staff, students) attending from the opposite campuses (NYC or Ithaca).
  • Meals for visiting colleagues & symposium attendants.
  • Conference spaces, meeting materials, and audiovisual expenses.
  • Cornell media coverage and event photography (such as pre/post event stories in the Cornell chronicle, social media, other university-related promotional opportunities).
  • For further details, please consult the budget template. Expenses incurred that exceed the $25,000 funding award are the responsibility of the Faculty Co-Chairs. Any surplus funds should be returned to the Office of Academic Integration.

Selection Criteria

  • Symposium leverages the strengths of Cornell's campuses.
  • Engages faculty across campuses.
  • Has the potential to create clear synergies and follow-on interactions, collaborations, and novel joint projects stemming from the symposium.
  • Creatively bridges divergent scientific niches that have either not traditionally come together or have not done so effectively.
  • Engages trainees (postdoctoral fellows and students) across campuses.
  • Focuses on emerging areas of science that constitute high-priority funding areas of federal funders.
  • Has the potential to lead to intercampus program grant applications.
  • Cornell Tech participation in the symposium will strengthen an application.

It is anticipated that up to four Research Symposia will be funded through this RFA. All symposia must be held by December 31, 2020.

Evaluation of Progress

Six months after the symposium date, the co-organizers will be required to submit a 1-page report on the outcome of the symposium. A report template will be provided by the Office for Academic Integration.