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AI Art: campus map with redbud branch. Artist: Carolyn Lawrence-Dill

Research and Discovery Newsletter

Spring is here!

I'll bet you're as excited as I am to see the redbuds in bloom. After snow and ice, the heart-shaped leaves and bright pink flowers are a hallmark of spring on our beautiful campus.  Did you know the plants that make up the landscape at Iowa State are mapped?  You can identify the species names for nearly all the trees and shrubs on the campus, and if you're looking for a particular type of plant, you can use the lookup at FP&M to find out whether and where it's planted.  I've used these maps to find the ISU pawpaws when they're in season (yum!) and to locate the pecan trees when I get homesick for a little bit of Texas. 

In the Office of Research and Discovery, we've been working out mappings to support your research. Our goal is to help you identify funding opportunities and find the people who can help navigate post-award support structures. If you visit the CALS website, you'll find a Research tab that's newly subdivided into two pages: Research Highlights, meant for all CALS audiences, and For Researchers, specifically for you.

That second "For Researchers" page hosts the list of internal support and funding opportunities, connects you to the CARES Team for pre-award support, and is the gateway to a new tool called Post-award: Who Does What. There you'll find prompts that lead you to the right people to help you with research administration. For example:

  • Follow the prompt labelled, "Do you need to appoint or hire a graduate student on your project?" and you'll learn that your HR Coordinator is the person to contact. If you're in the Department of Plant Path/Entomology, contact Robyn Davis. 
  • Follow the prompt labelled, "Do you need to allocate funds to your coPI(s) so they can have their own budget line?" and you'll learn that there's a linked form you would provide to your Grant Finance Specialist. If you're in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, that's Jordan Murphy.

We hope this way of navigating "who does what" is helpful to you and will enable you to spend less time searching for the right person and more time focused on advancing your research agenda.

What else is happening in the CALS Office of Research and Discovery?  We're mapping out processes to simplify and better support project management for the Ag Experiment Station (AES).  As you may remember from the last newsletter, Lynn Laws is set to retire soon, so we've been transitioning her activities to others in the office. When you reach out for AES support, use and your inquiries will reach Ásrún Ýr Kristmundsdóttir, Darwin Campbell, and (until she retires) Lynn Laws. Very shortly, AES support will expand to include the broader CARES Team so that there's more coverage, backup, and bandwidth to assist you with AES projects and processes. The real bonus? The CARES Team is known for their service-oriented research support, which recently landed them the 2021 Team CYtation Award. 

Thanks to all of you for your great work and for your input on how we at the College and in the Office of Research and Discovery can better support you and your research. As always, please reach out when you have ideas or questions and most especially if you need our assistance. Meanwhile, we’ll keep mapping things out so you can better navigate as you advance into new frontiers. 

Carolyn Lawrence-Dill 
Associate Dean 
Research & Discovery 


Special thanks to Whitney Baxter, Kerri Bilsten, Darwin Campbell, Ann Greazel and the CALS Web Team, Krishna Kant, Lynn Laws, Ásrún Ýr Kristmundsdóttir, and Ann Robinson for their excellent teamwork to create and deploy the new CALS Research website, tools, and support forms.

Download the April 2022 Newsletter (pdf)

CALS Office of Research & Discovery
139 Curtiss Hall, Iowa State University | Ames, Iowa. 50011
515-294-8842 |