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NICO Interdisciplinary Research Networking Luncheon Groups

History and Purpose

NICO Interdisciplinary Research Networking Luncheons started in 2017 as part of the Data Science Initiative, to facilitate networking among faculty who may not otherwise have a chance to meet, stimulate discussion of significant and emerging research areas, and advance interdisciplinary research. The goals of these luncheons include creating new faculty connections and collaborations, advancing innovative research agendas and publications, the identification of funding opportunities and new projects, and assistance in research grant proposals.

Five groups began meeting monthly in Fall 2017, of primarily tenured and tenure-track faculty, organized around three topics: Finite Earth, Computational Social Sciences, and Quantitative Biology. A total of 40 luncheons occurred throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, bringing together approximately 80 faculty members from eight of Northwestern’s schools and 31 academic departments for discussion and exploration of significant and upcoming research areas with a strong data science and analysis focus.

Six years later, 19 groups have convened for a total of 162 sessions and 200+ hours of intellectual discussion. An average of 65 faculty have participated each year involving 232 unique participants overall. Nine of Northwestern’s schools have been represented – McCormick, Weinberg, Feinberg, Kellogg, Pritzker, Medill, School of Education and Social Policy, School of Communication, and School of Professional Studies – as well as over 60 different academic departments and programs across these schools. 2023-2024 marks the seventh year of convening these interdisciplinary groups.

Further information:

Please visit the 2023-2024 Networking Groups page for information on the current networking group.

The Impact and Outcomes page highlights the successful outcomes of these luncheons.

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