Spring session of Research Leadership Program kicked off in January

This spring semester, the second cohort of the Research Leadership Program (RLP) began the second half of their year-long program. Hosted by the Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships (ORAP), the RLP is a cohort-based program for mid-career faculty (associate and above) to learn the communication, interpersonal, organization, and project-planning skills required to lead large multidisciplinary grant projects.

This year’s cohort consists of 22 faculty systemwide. Participants completed an 8-week research leadership course last fall and two one-on-one coaching sessions with AtKisson Training Group, an external facilitator. This spring, participants attended monthly sessions hosted by ORAP focused on applying leadership skills in a WSU-specific institutional context.

Spring sessions kicked off with a January Q&A panel session with several WSU research leaders experienced in leading and managing large projects, including Maureen Schmitter-Edgecomb, Regents Professor and H. L. Eastlick Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology, Juming Tang, Regents Professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, and Jordan Jobe, project manager for the AgAID Institute. Discussion topics included strategies for maintaining your own lab/research program while leading large projects, the value and role of project managers in center-type grants, effective selection of advisory board members, and ways to sustain institutes and centers beyond a grant’s award period. Other sessions this spring included presentations on building effective teams, institutional resources available to support large projects at WSU, and large project design and management.

Below is a list of faculty members participating in the 2022-2023 cohort:

Ani Jayakaran, Biological Systems Engineering 

David Makin, Criminal Justice and Criminology 

Sergey Lapin, Mathematics and Statistics 

Alexander Dimitrov, Mathematics and Statistics 

Brian French, Kinesiology and Educational Psychology

Dustin McLarty, Mechanical and Materials Engineering 

Julia Day, School of Design & Construction 

Jean-Sabin McEwen, Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering 

Heiko Jansen, Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

Kate Huyvaert, Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology 

Andrei Smertenko, Institute of Biological Chemistry

Cynthia Gleason, Plant Pathology 

Kiwamu Tanaka, Plant Pathology 

Achour Amiri, Plant Pathology

Bin Yang, Biological Systems Engineering 

Kimberly McKeirnan, Pharmacotherapy 

Shannon Tushingham, Anthropology

Alexander Fremier, School of the Environment 

Jinwen  Zhang, Mechanical and Materials Engineering 

Venera Arnaoudova, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 

Assefaw Gebremedhin, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 

Eric Shelden, School of Molecular Biosciences 

Since the program’s inception two years ago, 30 faculty from 20 departments, seven colleges, and nine campuses have participated. Keep an eye out this summer for an announcement soliciting nominations for a third cohort that we hope to offer in the fall. Please contact Sofia D’Ambrosio, proposal consultant for ORAP, by email at sofia.dambrosio@wsu.edu for more information.