Faculty and external partners are encouraged to contact Emerging Opportunities staff at any time to discuss potential initiatives. We help make connections among experts, facilitate stakeholder engagement, assist with project management and evaluation, and explore additional sources of funding.
Annual meetings will provide networking opportunities for grantees and other faculty across campus. Details will be posted to the Emerging Opportunities website.
Collaboration, Integration & Engagement
Emerging Opportunities projects bring together the diverse expertise and inclusive engagement needed at key decision points to advance sustainability. The following resources are intended to assist teams in designing and implementing effective collaboration and engagement.
- Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science This 2015 National Research Council report summarizes the available research on team science and provides recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative research
- Integration and Implementation Insights (i2insights) The i2insights blog provides research resources for action-oriented team science addressing complex social and environmental problems.
- Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) The National Science Foundation-funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) brings together diverse groups in new, interdisciplinary collaborations to identify solutions to society’s most challenging and complex environmental problems. By co-developing research questions with those who apply scholarly knowledge, the resulting scholarship can inform decision makers.
- Eight Toolkits for Transdisciplinarity This documents summarizes a series - published in the scientific journal GAIA - that highlights existing compilations of methods useful for transdisciplinary research.
- Practices for facilitating interdisciplinary synthetic research: the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) Palmer et al. 2016, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
- A Dialogue not a Diatribe: Effective Integration of Science and Policy through Joint Fact Finding Herman et al., 2007, Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development
- Diverse Perceptions of Stakeholder Engagement within an Environmental Modeling Research Team Allen et al. 2013, Journal of Enviromental Studies and Science
- NERRA Collaborative Project Toolkit Developed to support collaborative cross-disciplinary research approaches that National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) use to manage coastal and estaurine environments, this online toolkit offers best practices, case studies, templates, and other resources applicable to any large team working on complex issues that span disciplines and engage with a wide range of partners. The toolkit covers the entire project lifecycle including planning, implementation, and evaluation.
- Characterizing end users and stakeholders Developed by the NOAA-funded Science Collaborative to assist investigators applying for a separate funding opportunity for integrated assessments involving the National Estuarine Research Reserves, this worksheet may still be helpful for characterizing engaged partners (i.e., end users) and stakeholders for Emerging Opportunities projects.
- The CDC Program Performance and Evaluation Office website offers an extensive list of evaluation resources available online
- The Western Michigan University Evaluation Center provides high-quality checklists targeted to specific evaluation tasks
One approach to tackling real-world sustainability challenges is Integrated Assessment (IA), an interdisciplinary and collaborative research method that actively involves subject matter experts, decision-makers, and key stakeholders. IA evaluates the environmental, social, and economic aspects of an issue using an iterative and engaged approach that 1) defines and clarifies a complicated sustainability issue, 2) leverages research across disciplines, 3) builds partnerships, and 4) identifies and evaluates options for addressing the issue. An IA approach would be eligible, but is not required, for funding through the Emerging Opportunities program.
- Integrated Assessment Guide This 23-page guide focuses on the IA methodology, but many of the ideas around integrating multiple disciplines and engaging stakeholders are generally applicable to other approaches
- “Benefits of Using Integrated Assessment to Address Sustainability Challenges” Lund et al.2011, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
- "Benefits of Integrated Assessment" Full report on the benefits of IA
- Integrated Assessment Evaluation Guide
The Michigan Journal of Sustainability is a peer-reviewed journal targeted toward sustainability practitioners who are interested in applying innovative research to address complex challenges. Communicate how your results are relevant to real-world applications.
Where to publish? Journals for research integration and implementation concepts, methods and processes Gabrielle Bammer, Integration and Implementation Insights