“But we also hope that we will bring two people together and it will be magic, because it never would have happened any other way.” The “Research Collaboration Retreat,” as it has been billed, will focus on the subject of health care.
Faculty from various disciplines across the university have indicated plans to attend, and there’s a financial as well as an intellectual incentive to do so.
The university will provide seed money to the groups that are thought to have emerged from the retreat with the best ideas.
The groups will then present their proposals on poster boards, which will be displayed throughout the room.
Participants will then vote on their favorite proposals, but will not be allowed to select their own proposals.
Those votes will be used to narrow down the groups with the most promising proposals, who will vie for a portion of $17,000 in seed money.
For all of their big ideas, sometimes faculty are a bit like wallflowers at a high school dance; they need a little push to make the first move.
So it’s perhaps no surprise that the University of Southern California is using “speed dating” techniques to encourage professors to work together across disciplines.