Networking One USF
2021 Research Administration Faculty Fellowship (Raff) Recipient Explains Why Program Is Vital To Research Prominence And Leadership Development
In an effort to promote, synergize and cultivate leaders, the Research Administration Faculty Fellowship (RAFF) has been relaunched by the Sarasota-Manatee campus research office to serve as a vital networking tool across the University of South Florida’s multi-campus research enterprise.
By Melanie Bass
Established in 2008 by then senior vice president for research, innovation and global affairs and now the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus regional chancellor Karen Holbrook, the RAFF program was designed to mentor early-career faculty and provide a broader understanding of the research ecosystem. This unique program is ideal for research-intensive innovation incubators such as USF, which serves as a global preeminent R1 institution with an economic impact of $6.02 billion in 2019-2020.
The program is sponsored by the Sarasota-Manatee campus research office led by Sandra Justice. Together, the office and RAFF participants have elevated existing and new programs, including launching the Trailblazers Graduate Student Research Scholars program, expanding the Summer Grant Writing Workshop, developing a graduate student grant writing program, collaborating on undergraduate research practices and implementing a national grantsmanship training survey.
Previous RAFFs include Kiki Caruson, Vice President for USF World, and Sudeep Sarkar, Computer Science and Engineering department chair and associate vice president for Research and Innovation. RAFFs from the Sarasota-Manatee campus include Melissa Sloan, associate professor of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, and Murat Haner, instructor of Criminology.
The 2021 RAFF is Jessica M. Grosholz, associate professor in the Department of Criminology and campus chair/director of the Master’s in Criminal Justice program. As part of the program, she regularly meets with fellow researchers and departments, sharing current collaborative projects, programs and events. Here she explains the role she plays as the RAFF.
QUESTION: Why did you want to be the RAFF?
GROSHOLZ: I knew it would help me grow as a researcher at an R1 institution developing my own research funding strategy. I felt this position would also help me to see research across the institution as well as external to USF rather than just internal to our campus. I also knew that I could help increase the visibility and prominence of the outstanding research being done on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus.
QUESTION: How has the RAFF role helped you?
GROSHOLZ:The RAFF role has helped me become more aware of my own research agenda and how it fits into the larger university. It has also allowed me to understand the role of research administration and research development and how vital it is to the success of USF. This role has also led to some excellent networking opportunities with those in upper administration at USF, which will benefit me as I continue to progress and grow as a scholar.
QUESTION: How would you describe the RAFF position?
GROSHOLZ: In a nutshell, the RAFF position is a role that allows the individual to grow professionally in terms of their research and scholarship as well as learn the inner workings of the research enterprise at an R1 institution. In this role, you work with other scholars, even those outside of your discipline, to assist them as they advance their own research agendas and funding strategies. Additionally, you assist the Office of Research on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus to develop and launch new and innovative funding opportunities and research initiatives.
QUESTION: What advice would you give to incoming RAFFs?
GROSHOLZ: The best piece of advice I would give would be to listen. Listen to your fellow colleagues as they tell you what they need to be productive and successful in their research endeavors. Listen to the research administrators across the USF ecosystem. Listen to upper administration as they develop new strategic plans and initiatives, which should be used to align potential funding opportunities and research initiatives launched by the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus Office of Research and the RAFF. I think the more one listens to those around them, the more successful they will be in this role to increase the visibility and highlight the excellent research being done on this campus as well as across the university.