The PI Academy is a year-long program that provides a select number of junior faculty members with in-depth professional development opportunities in the areas of research – how one becomes a successful principal investigator – and engagement – how one works with external partners and students in the course of one’s research.
In addition to the professional development sessions, Academy Scholars will also receive one-on-one mentoring from a successful senior researcher in their field. The mentors will provide insights, direction and networking opportunities for the Academy Scholars.
Although the front rows of chairs at the sessions are reserved for the 2012 class of Academy Scholars, PI Academy Director David Stone says all are welcome to hear the good advice.
“We are happy to have other faculty come,” said Stone, who’s also the associate vice president for research in the Division of Research and Graduate Studies. “Although they won’t have access to all the materials or the mentor opportunity the Academy Scholars will have, we invite all faculty to take advantage of the open professional development sessions we will offer each month.”
Scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. on the second Friday of each month in the Board of Trustees meeting room in Altgeld Hall, the PI Academy also will help faculty to strengthen their research and expand and deepen engaged learning opportunities for NIU students.
Topics for the year include how to position oneself as a successful PI, seeking funding, grant writing, budgeting, managing a grant funded project and dealing with issues of responsible conduct of research and research integrity.
Additional programming beyond the monthly sessions is also being planned.
NIU administrators anticipate that the PI Academy could improve faculty retention through faculty success, something seen with other formal mentoring programs at the institution.