In a broad international Network-of-Networks model, coordination will be key to success. Through the catalytic phase, we will hire a Project Coordinator who will be based in NC State’s College of Agriculture's (CALS) International Programs as part of the team of Dr. Cisneros, Director of International Programs (see letter). The Project Coordinator will manage the administration and day-to-day activities of AI2EAR, as well as planning a kick-off meeting and three annual workshops. The Project Coordinator will work with the AI2EAR Executive Committee (EC) (Table 2) on project administration and management as well as student and faculty exchanges and serve as the connector among AI2EAR network partners. The Project Coordinator will coordinate network communication and work with IT staff in CALS International Programs and other team members to design and develop an AI2EAR website and to ensure appropriate
protocols are followed to ensure the success of student exchanges. Likewise, the Project Coordinator will work with the EC to ensure protocols for coordination and communication are adopted and following throughout the catalytic phase.
AI2EAR Network-of-Networks proposal provides a unifying theme centered around the common goal of creating and bringing together diverse international networks and stakeholders. Each member network will engage fully in all activities of AI2EAR including attending, in person or virtually, the kick-off and annual meetings, sharing facilities, equipment and resources and recruiting, mentoring, hosting, and cross-training AI2EAR Fellows and visiting scholars.
The Research Mini-Grant Award Program
The Research Mini-Grant Award Program has been introduced and a sub-working group is finalizing the guidelines for the program. The goal is to have the first grants awarded by early Spring 2022. Evaluation Coordinator, Dr. Shaun Kellogg, will also report on the status of his project evaluation and what has been learned so far. During this session, he will receive feedback from team members as well (see Evaluation).
During the catalytic phase, we will develop a Research Mini-Grant Award Program, to provide funding for selected students and postdocs to travel to and work in a Network member’s labs for 3 months each summer. The program will be open to all students enrolled in accredited graduate programs with priority given to URM students and those from AI2EAR Network members. The AEC will be responsible for reviewing applications and matching the best applicants with host sites.