It’s pretty rare to find representatives of different agencies in one room who are willing to talk to people as a group and individually.” “This is a great opportunity to get together, learn from experts, and learn about resources available for social and rural communities,” said Grant Mc Gimpsey, vice president for research and economic development, as he welcomed the participants. We immediately started implementing our plan.” He explained that one of the goals is discovery, which includes research, scholarship and creative activities.“I’ve been involved in a lot of strategic plans,” Mc Gimpsey continued. There are five grand challenges within that goal, he added, and one of them is to meet the health and social challenges of rural communities.A panel discussion allowed participants to learn even more about submitting proposals.The day was capped by a solicitation for proposals.“It identified funding streams and began collaborations.Who needs a long walk on the beach when you can sip wine, gaze into a potential partner’s eyes and dream of all the things you’d like to do to their data?He particularly liked the mix of participants — mostly senior postdocs and junior professors.Indeed, most participants had a hard time limiting themselves to three matches. ” asked Kamal Sen, a theorist from Boston University.
Each pair chatted for three minutes to figure out if they had potential for a scientific spark and then moved on to the next candidate.“They can provide an overview of federal resources that are available to help solve unique problems in rural communities.” Attendees were able to “speed network” with the representatives.Similar to “speed dating,” it allowed researchers to interact and visit with representatives about their particular research. Equally rare was hearing directly how agencies help rural communities and the types of research and education they help fund.She noted that the event was held during National Rural Health Week.“Rural and health issues are my passion, and this is an energetic, great group of people,” said Heitkamp.