Training & Workshops

Check out the recording of the Grant Writing 101 workshop

Developing Research Agendas through Mentoring (DREAM)

Submissions are closed for this AY. Please check back next year.

ORSP will coordinate an academic year-long professional development program for up to ten tenure-track assistant professors. The participants will receive training to promote and strengthen their skills in developing a strong research agenda and becoming principal investigators of externally funded projects. Training will include best practices to identify funding opportunities, to build collaborations across disciplines and institutions, to communicate with a sponsor’s program officer, to write a grant proposal, and to ensure compliance with responsible conduct of research policies. Facilitated meetings for the participants will provide networking time. In addition to the training, each participant will identify a professional mentor who will provide advice related to expanding the participants’ research and scholarly portfolios by developing funding proposals, executing sponsored research projects, and publishing results in peer-reviewed publications.

The ideal faculty participant will have:

  • An active research agenda that will contribute to their respective professional discipline;
  • Demonstrated scholarly activities over the last two years, such as peer-reviewed publications and/or presentations at professional symposia;
  • Expressed interested in pursuing external funding to support scholarly activities; and
  • Developed specific plans to engage WCU students in their research.

Mentors may be internal to WCU or external. Mentors must be experts in their field and have the ability, expertise and commitment to mentor successfully in the area of scholarship and sponsored programs. It is the responsibility of the faculty candidates to identify mentors at the time of applying to the program. Mentors must be approved by the ORSP in advance and will receive a $1,000 honorarium for their participation in the program. The mentor will agree to work with their mentee over the ensuing year by providing support and advice around one grant proposal or publication.

To apply for DREAM, all interested junior tenure-track faculty in their first four years will complete an application which will include the approval from their dean and department chair and a letter of support from a potential mentor. Once admitted to DREAM, the participant will agree to attend monthly professional development meetings hosted by ORSP. In addition, the participant will meet or communicate twice a month with the Mentor and provide updates to ORSP. At the start of DREAM, the faculty participant and Mentor will conduct a self-evaluation of the faculty’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses as it relates to developing a research agenda and proposal for an external grant. Based on that self-evaluation, a plan of action will be developed to identify goals and milestones for the faculty participant and Mentor to achieve over the next year as well as long-term research plans for the next five years.

The self-evaluations will be reviewed by ORSP staff and used to identify the professional development topics to be presented over the next year during the monthly meetings. ORSP will host the professional development events which may include presentations from ORSP and Finance and Business Services staff, WCU faculty who have received external grants, and external speakers.

Participant responsibilities:

  • Conduct self-evaluation with Mentor to identify strengths, weaknesses to position faculty as competent researcher and apply for external funding.
  • Develop plan of action based on the self-evaluation. The plan of action should include one-year goals and milestones to achieve during DREAM as well as long-term goals after DREAM has ended.
  • Attend and participate in monthly ORSP professional development events.
  • Have bi-weekly meetings with Mentor to discuss progress and plan of action. Submit updates to ORSP documenting the meetings.
  • Complete CITI training in Responsible Conduct of Research and other appropriate CITI training specific to participant’s field.
  • Develop a long-term research agenda to include identification of future funding opportunities and timeline for applying.
  • Draft proposal narrative (approximately 2 pages) to be used for future opportunities.

Mentor participation and responsibilities:

  • Commit to one year of mentoring to support the development of a publication or research proposal.
  • Engage in evaluation of participant to identify strengths, weaknesses to position faculty as competent researcher and apply for external funding.
  • Assist participant in developing plan of action based on the self-evaluation.
  • Have bi-weekly meetings with participant to discuss progress and plan of action.

ORSP participation and responsibilities:

  • Promote DREAM and educate WCU faculty and deans as to the application and nomination process.
  • Coordinate application and nomination of faculty to participate in DREAM.
  • Coordinate review committee for applications and select DREAM faculty participants.
  • Coordinate memorandum of understanding with mentors.
  • Develop professional development program for DREAM participants. Host monthly meetings for training and networking events. Invite external speakers to present at events.
  • Monitor progress of DREAM, including faculty and mentor activities.
  • Conduct evaluation of program at end of year. Use evaluation findings to refine future program.

Contact Catherine Spaur at or 610-436-3060

PRG Workshops

Faculty Forums

Faculty Forums offer a venue during which faculty members present the results of their work, share ideas, and discuss needs in the context of a research and creative activity theme that crosses several disciplines. During these forums, we hope to encourage scholarly conversations among faculty members who might not normally meet each other in the interest of igniting collaborations.

Collaboration in Research
Tuesday, November 7th
11:30am - 1:00pm
Philips Lower Level Conf. Room

M&Q Grant Writing 101
Tuesday, February 20th
11:30am - 1:00pm
Phillips Lower Level Conf. Room

Student Engagement
Wednesday, April 3rd
11:30am - 1:00pm
Phillips Lower Level Conf. Room

Sustainability Research and Practice Seminar – Fall 2023

Another exciting round of presentations is getting under way as the Sustainability Research and Practice Seminar returns for the fall 2023 semester! There will be a full lineup of speakers and topics bound to entice, from a wide range of disciplines. These weekly seminars are hosted on Wednesdays during the lunch hour, 12pm to 12:50pm, making it easy to stop in for a casual and fascinating break. The Sustainability Research and Practice Seminar is hosted in Sykes 255 A/B and on Zoom.

Sustainability Seminars Fall 2023 Flyer


WCU is a subscribing institution with The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program. CITI provides comprehensive training in Human Subjects Research, Responsible Conduct of Research, Animal Care and Use, and Export Control. CITI content addresses the needs of the entire research team: PIs, co-PIs, students, and staff.

CITI Training Requirements for Grant Funded Projects

CITI Training Requirements for Faculty/Students/Staff Applying to the IRB