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  1. In August 2016, the authors, faculty members at Lafayette College, were awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (Grant No. CMMI-1632963) based on an unsolicited proposal to the NSF’s CMMI Division. Like many faculty at strictly undergraduate institutions, we routinely provide opportunities for students to work on research projects and fund this research in some situations through external grants. An innovation in this particular grant was the creation of a research collaboration between faculty and students at Lafayette and an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC). As stated on the NSF website, “The goal of the ERC Program is to integratemore »engineering research and education with technological innovation to transform national prosperity, health, and security.” To accomplish this goal, collaborations between ERCs and other institutions are inherent in the work of an ERC; however, research collaborations between ERCs and small liberal arts colleges are rare and we know of no other collaboration of this type. In our most recent research project, we have developed and implemented a model that successfully provides our students and ourselves with opportunities to collaborate on an interdisciplinary research project with faculty, researchers, and graduate students at the NSF-funded Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG). This paper provides a brief overview of the goals of the research project and describes our motivation for establishing the collaboration, the structure of the collaboration, the anticipated broader impacts associated with the work, and the results from the first 18 months of the partnership. A logic model is included to illustrate the connections between the resources, strategies, outcomes, and long-term impacts associated with the collaboration. The goal of this paper is to describe the collaboration between Lafayette College and the ERC from the point of view of the faculty members at Lafayette, to describe the positive outcomes that have resulted from this collaboration, and to encourage faculty members at other small colleges to consider developing similar collaborations.« less
  2. In August 2016, the authors, faculty members at Lafayette College, were awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (Grant No. CMMI-1632963) based on an unsolicited proposal to the NSF’s CMMI Division. Like many faculty at strictly undergraduate institutions, we routinely provide opportunities for students to work on research projects and fund this research in some situations through external grants. An innovation in this particular grant was the creation of a research collaboration between faculty and students at Lafayette and an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC). As stated on the NSF website, “The goal of the ERC Program is to integratemore »engineering research and education with technological innovation to transform national prosperity, health, and security.” To accomplish this goal, collaborations between ERCs and other institutions are inherent in the work of an ERC; however, research collaborations between ERCs and small liberal arts colleges are rare and we know of no other collaboration of this type. In our most recent research project, we have developed and implemented a model that successfully provides our students and ourselves with opportunities to collaborate on an interdisciplinary research project with faculty, researchers, and graduate students at the NSF-funded Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG). This paper provides a brief overview of the goals of the research project and describes our motivation for establishing the collaboration, the structure of the collaboration, the anticipated broader impacts associated with the work, and the results from the first 18 months of the partnership. A logic model is included to illustrate the connections between the resources, strategies, outcomes, and long-term impacts associated with the collaboration. The goal of this paper is to describe the collaboration between Lafayette College and the ERC from the point of view of the faculty members at Lafayette, to describe the positive outcomes that have resulted from this collaboration, and to encourage faculty members at other small colleges to consider developing similar collaborations.« less