As part of the Research Development Office’s (RDO) efforts to bring together faculty from across disciplines and grow campus connections in innovative ways, the RDO is hosting a series of speed networking events. The next topic will focus on one of the nation’s great public health crises – mental health and illness. Speed networking (similar to speed dating) is designed to expand a researcher’s network of potential collaborators, while catalyzing new research ideas. Given the complexity of the social, political, environmental, economic, and technological challenges facing the world today, interdisciplinary research is critical to identifying effective solutions. Speed networking is one tool to help achieve new interdisciplinary collaborations.

The RDO’s first speed networking event in April 2018 was organized with the University of Iowa Microfabrication Facility (UIMF). This event was focused on the convergence of disciplines around the topic of micro- and nano-fabrication technologies and techniques. This event brought together faculty from seven departments and four colleges to brainstorm ideas for new interdisciplinary collaborations. Participants reported that they appreciated the opportunity to openly exchange ideas, learn and listen from other disciplines, and to brainstorm an integrated approach to solve the technological challenges in their own respective fields. Of the post-event survey respondents, nearly 75% stated that they had met a new potential collaborator and over 85% stated they would recommend a similar event to a colleague.

Based on the positive feedback from the UIMF event, the RDO is planning additional speed networking events. The next event, hosted in collaboration with the College of Medicine’s Office of Faculty Affairs and Development, will bring campus researchers together to discuss new research ideas focusing on the topic of mental health and illness. This event will take place on Friday, September 28, 2:00pm-4:30pm in Kelch Conference Room (1289 CBRB).

Please visit the Mental Health speed networking webpage to learn more. If you would like to participate, please complete the short registration survey on the webpage by Friday, September 14, 2018.




Aaron Kline, Director, Research Development Office, 319-335-4142