VCUarts Qatar Conducts Research Retreat for Faculty

VCUarts Qatar Conducts Research Retreat for Faculty By Iman Abdalla - March 17, 2022

Participants Engaging in the Retreat

Retreat sees QF partner university researchers present latest updates, outcomes, and impacts of their research within the classroom and the wider community.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) – a Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university – organized a two-day off-campus Research Lab Retreat at the W Hotel, recently.

The principal goal of the retreat was to strengthen institutional support for increased success of Research Lab activities, objectives, and impacts. 

This was the first time the University arranged an intensive retreat for faculty engaged in Research Lab initiatives. The retreat was attended by VCUarts Qatar’s Dean Amir Berbic and other members of the University’s leadership.

“The VCUarts Qatar Research Labs provide a unique opportunity to support in-depth research teams of faculty, students, and alumni for increased impacts in the broader community.  The faculty-led labs provide students with hands-on experiential learning, and recent alumni with valuable professional development,” Diane Derr, PhD, Associate Dean For Research And Development, VCUarts Qatar, said.

On day one, many of the University’s Research Labs – including Sonic Jeel, Nanotechnology and Textiles, Boost Lab, Multi-modal Mathematics, TypeAraby, Water With Water, and xLabs presented the scope, aims, and objectives of their research, their activities and outcomes to date, and their contributions and impacts within both the discourse, the classroom, and the community.

During the second day, faculty participated in two workshops conducted by the Alliance For The Arts In Research In Universities (a2ru) on Impacts and Dissemination and Interdisciplinary Collaboration. Based in the US, a2ru fosters and champions the role of the arts, design, and arts integration in higher education. Maryrose Flanigan, Executive Director, and Veronica Stanich, Research Program Manager, from a2ru, conducted the workshops.

Through interactive activities, participants explored tools to identify, articulate, and optimize research impacts in the creative disciplines; discussed approaches and processes to effectively capitalize on collaborative opportunities through a series of targeted activities; and examined strategic approaches to research dissemination driven by their research aims.

Research Labs were set up exclusively to support and cultivate collaborative partnerships both within and outside of the University. The cross-disciplinary nature of these Labs enhances present and prospective research, and supports investigations into a wide body of complex topics.

The Labs, being centered in QF’s Education City campus, allows researchers to tap into the expertise, skills, and resources available to them at their doorstep at the branch campuses of some of the best universities in the world, while benefitting from Qatar’s fast-expanding creative landscape.

By Iman Abdalla - March 17, 2022

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