CCEFP Student Leadership Council Sponsors Travel Grants to Promote Culture of Collaboration

Achievement date: 
2013
Outcome/accomplishment: 

The Student Leadership Council (SLC) of the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) headquartered at the University of Minnesota, has a Travel Grant Program. This program provides funds that allow students to travel to another project or industry location.

Impact/benefits: 

The Travel Grant Program makes collaboration more accessible and has proven to be very useful and popular with students and faculty, as evidenced by the following quote from one participant. “Overall I believe the trip was very useful, I was better able to understand their work and its impact on my research. I also believe it fostered a closer relationship between the two research groups which will benefit these projects in the future.” – Kathy Houle. In addition to providing an outstanding collaborative opportunity for CCEFP graduate students, this program has also been a good opportunity for SLC members to gain experience reviewing proposals and organizing a grant program. Finally, the program has been a valuable tool for empowering students to pursue their own collaborations and for strengthening communication within the CCEFP.

Explanation/Background: 

The grant is managed by a student-organized call in which Center students can submit written proposals and the SLC is responsible for approving grants. During Year 6 the SLC held two calls for proposals and funded travel for seven students to other universities and industry partners. For Year 7 there are currently five approved grants for student travel. Plans are to hold another call for proposals later in spring semester.