One of our summer highlights is a student research “shark tank.” Students work with staff and faculty mentors to hone an original idea, which then culminates in a pitch to “sharks” for funding (this year sharks included Drs. Steve Hanson, Dan Maliniak, Brad Parks, Jaime Settle and Mike Tierney).
Student teams submitted proposals for research in a variety of fields and topics, including: humanitarian response, conflict mitigation, environmental justice, gender inclusiveness, and the impact of emerging economies. The breadth of proposals highlighted the Institute’s role as an incubator of disruptive ideas, as students collaborated with over a dozen of ITPIR staff and faculty at W&M to pursue their ideas. Last year’s winning proposals included research on Ebola emergency response that was ultimately presented to USAID’s Ebola team to inform their next round of programming.
This summer 14 teams presented projects, and while we’d like to support them all, 2 to 4 will be selected for investment for the fall semester.