Murkland Interdisciplinary Scholars Teams (MIST)

The Mission

The College of Liberal Arts and the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Engagement and Academic Outreach have agreed to partner to develop interdisciplinary faculty teams at UNH through a unique faculty development program. Interdisciplinary collaboration is becoming more important nationwide to address the pressing problems of today, such as climate change, addiction, civic discourse and violence prevention. We recall UNH President Charles Murkland’s view in the last Nineteenth Century that the liberal arts play a critical role in education, scholarship and research to address the important issues of the time. Our mission is to stimulate creative collaborations among interdisciplinary faculty teams at UNH. These teams would pair faculty from education, social sciences and the humanities across different units within the College, or with scholars in other Colleges.

Objectives

We will facilitate the creation of five interdisciplinary teams per year for two years. Faculty will be recruited through special events and from the pool of 225+ past faculty participants in the UNH Research and Engagement Academy (REA), Humanities Learning Community and the Writing Academy, which have already fostered rich partnerships. We anticipate that some teams may form spontaneously as part of our events, while others may broaden already established collaborations. Faculty teams will participate in a series of meetings during the spring and summer to help them identify ways to collaborate. We will then take advantage of UNH resources to identify potential targets for external funding for each group and prior/current grant success from alumni in the REA and other learning communities. Importantly, we will identify scholarly coaches from UNH and from other institutions who can help the teams develop their ideas and support proposal development. A life-after-submission fund is available to support scholarship and grant submissions after the team has submitted their initial proposal and has obtained feedback from the agency in order to keep the team vibrant and fully engaged.

Pressing Problems

Many voices in higher education today address interdisciplinary work and many universities have launched programs fostering interdisciplinary work. However, no university has launched a program explicitly focused on bringing the liberal arts to bear on the world's pressing problems. We plan to establish a distinctive presence in higher education. Building upon existing strengths in this work, we envision the College of Liberal Arts partnering with others to become a hub for research, teaching and engagement for UNH on solving the world's pressing problems. We hope programs like MIST will help faculty seize funding opportunities and convey to internal and external audiences what we do and why it matters. The stakes are high and the potential impact is significant.

Timeline

Generally, interdisciplinary teams will work intensively during the first year for team building and proposal development. In subsequent years, the teams will meet for proposal revision and resubmission.

Benefits

MIST teams benefit from the following:

  • Life-after-submission funds to support the re-submission of a competitive proposal
  • Feedback from an internal and an external faculty members during the grant writing process
  • Opportunity to interact with a range of specific on-campus resources that can help support proposal development
  • Interaction with other MIST teams about how to create a robust and productive scholarly agenda
  • Opportunity to interact with federal personnel
  • Ongoing support to MIST teams
  • Interdisciplinary opportunities catalyzed by faculty interactions across disciplines

Contact Alynna Lyon for more information.