Central College News

Central College Joins I-RAISE Grant Collaboration

Featured: Central College Joins I-RAISE Grant Collaboration

February 22, 2024

Central College has been named a partner in the National Science Foundation’s grant designed to build a more robust regional research administration workforce for the future. Iowa State University will oversee grant internship activities to spearhead a cross-institutional program, including Central.

“Central is excited to be part of this collaborative work,” says Michelle Wilkie, director of development at Central. “We know a strong research administration pipeline will help lift and support our faculty who have brilliant ideas to share with the world. As our academic programming grows, we want to harness the incredible talent in our own backyard. This grant will allow us to do this through exposure and creating resources for future research administrators.”

The Iowa Research Administration Internship Student Experience received funding through NSF’s Growing Research Access for Nationally Transformative Equity and Diversity. GRANTED focuses on addressing systemic barriers within the nation’s research enterprise by improving research support and service capacity.

I-RAISE will prepare both undergraduate and graduate students from partner institutions for research administration careers through a classroom-based research administration boot camp and summer internship at Iowa State, followed by additional mentored internship rotations at each student’s home institution.

The first cohort of I-RAISE students will be recruited this spring, for a program kickoff in late May. The project team will also develop and host an open-access, on-demand set of training resources for onboarding new research administration staff at any institution by converting the I-RAISE bootcamp curriculum into freely available online training modules, to be hosted in partnership with Iowa State Extension and Outreach.

Iowa State’s Jane Garrity is leading the I-RAISE project, with NSF funding of $3.7 million over 4.5 years. Garrity is the director of strategic initiatives for ISU’s Office of the Vice President for Research and director of Grants Hub.

“The work that we proposed is creative and original because it brings together research administration staff from different institutions in Iowa to solve a common challenge in building a regional research administration workforce,” Garrity says.

“Central students will learn valuable skills from professionals in a variety of research settings and research-intensive institutions,” Wilkie says. “The I-RAISE internships will be valuable for students and the industry.”