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Update on the Problem-Based Interdisciplinary Inquiry Initiative


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    roadmap-updatesThrough the initiative on Problem-Based Interdisciplinary Inquiry, part of the Roadmap to Our New Century, the University of Miami is developing new structures, systems, and programs to expand multidisciplinary collaborations across the U to continue addressing the increasingly complex problems faced by our society in the 21st century.

    Led by John Bixby, vice provost for research, the Problem-Based Interdisciplinary Inquiry action team initially has focused on planning the UM Laboratory for Integrative Knowledge (U-LINK), a university-wide platform for incubating ideas, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and providing funding to facilitate new approaches to difficult problems. Currently, the action team is designing U-LINK’s inaugural grant competition, which, set to launch later this year, will invite interdisciplinary groups to seek funding for novel, solution-oriented projects. In the longer term, U-LINK is envisioned as not only a funding source, but also a physical space where scholars from disparate disciplines can productively “collide” in an inspirational setting conducive to developing and pursuing their projects.

    To further support the initiative, action team member Susan Morgan, the associate dean for research and former director of the Center for Communication, Culture and Change at the School of Communication, has been appointed associate provost for research development and strategy. In this new role, Morgan will serve as an integral component of the U’s research infrastructure and will play an important part in the development of U-LINK.

    The action team is also planning an August retreat to further the initiative’s implementation and identify members of an advisory group who can counsel the action team on U-LINK’s structure and assist in the proposal review process for the grant competition.

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