Faculty Interest Groups

OFA will be supporting the organization of Faculty Interest Groups (FIGs). You may want to form a group about a topic related to your work, your professional development, or some personal interest. The FIG creates a community that  organizes itself with faculty-led, informal meetings or events to share ideas for a pre-determined length of time, usually September-May. Less formal than Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), these groups bring together faculty to engage in regular sharing of ideas, resources, and interests. OFA provides a maximum of $500 per year per FIG for supplies and sustenance. FIGs should have between 5-30 members. FIG membership should be open to all faculty. If you are interested in creating a FIG, please see FIG application here. Please apply by August 31. We will review applications in September. Funding is limited, so apply early. 


2022-2023 Faculty Interest Groups

All Disciplines invited to connect, write together, have beverages, and eat cake: We are proposing a FIG that is interdisciplinary, composed of faculty interested in writing together. Writing projects are open (i.e., manuscripts, grant proposals) and simply include any kind of current writing that may require feedback or discussion. We are expecting that our involvement in the FIG would provide us two benefits: We need time to socialize around meaningful projects, and the interdisciplinary nature would encourage us to write more clearly and with less jargon. To join this group, contact Emily Adah Miller

Applied Population Studies: The goal of the Applied Population Studies FIG is to connect faculty from disciplines across the university who share interests in population research and education. Population research is inherently interdisciplinary, and given that the University of Georgia does not have a Population Center or Demography department, this FIG is designed to strengthen informal networks that exist across campus. In addition to the existing faculty on campus, this FIG could evolve into a network and resource for new faculty beyond their department who share interests in population-level questions. This network would benefit students of all academic levels, connecting students interested in this type of research with a network where they can meet other faculty and learn of opportunities in other parts of the University including coursework, assistantships, and research. This collaborative community around the shared interest of population studies could benefit Research, Teaching, and Service at UGA. Our plan for the first year of the Population Studies FIG is to use the funds to support purchasing coffee and tea for one-two gatherings per semester. To join this group, contact Taylor Hafley

CED Interdisciplinary Reading Group: The CED Interdisciplinary Reading Group for faculty is an opportunity to build community - both intellectual and social - among the faculty of the CED. There are three programs at the CED: urban planning, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. While each of these programs share a common focus on the built environment, there are different approaches taken by each discipline. The reading group is an opportunity to foster interdisciplinary connections through the readings and topics as well as in the act of gathering and meeting. To join this group, contact Katie Marages.

Dawg Ears: The primary shared interest of this group is protecting hearing and providing education and outreach regarding sound exposure (whether it is from noise at stadiums, music, hobbies) and healthy ears and hearing. 

Outreach includes setting up educational booths, providing free hearing screenings, measuring sound levels, educational lectures, and providing hearing protection, including (hopefully) custom UGA logo earmuffs and UGA colored custom ear plugs. To join this group, contact Kerry Cohen.

Umoja: Faculty for Diverse, Co-constructed Spaces: The purpose of this FIG will be to generate dialogue and solutions regarding how faculty support retention and advancement of diverse staff at the University of Georgia. While there is much research, many opinion pieces, and a variety of research on retention of diverse faculty, there is a need to explore supporting diverse staff working at predominantly white institutions. This FIG will center around discussing solutions for faculty supporting retention and advancement of all employees at the University of Georgia. To join this group, contact Megan Brock

2021-2022 Faculty Interest Groups

Bio-Volcano: In this FIG initiative, the participants will discuss research plans (fieldwork and laboratory analyses) on how to quantify mercury concentration in multiple bioaccumulating organisms and how to determine the relationships between mercury in bioaccumulators and magnitude of volcanic eruptions to create diagnostic tools for monitoring volcanic activity. The participants will also explore the role of scientists working in a collaborative team to generate a unique set of data based on inter-, multi, cross-, and trans-disciplinary efforts, and will help design and teach the science of the future: cutting-edge, without barriers, and beyond any frontier. To join this group, contact Mattia Pistone.

Grant Writing Club: Extramural funding is critical to the success of tenure-track faculty and the continued growth of the university.  While logistical support is provided by current university programs, creativity and stress-management are essential components of a successful grant applications as well. Current research suggests that persistence and team-work are two of the strongest predictors of creative performance and yet the former is undermined by declines in self-perception (PNAS, 2020, 117, 19830) and low rates of grant funding (Science, 2018, 359, 1007).   We meet monthly to provide unstructured, interdisciplinary discussion as well as peer-support. To join this group, contact Eugene Douglass.

Infectious Diseases Grant Writing Interest Group: The Infectious Diseases Grant Writing Interest Group gathers weekly to monthly to discuss grant proposals at various stages of preparation.  Feedback from our colleagues will substantially inform our new submissions and guide the rewriting of proposals for resubmission.  We will develop strategies for identifying our audience, working with the NIH review system and addressing prior comments and criticisms will be key to improving the quality of proposals and therefore the success rate. To join this group, contact Eric Harvill.

2020-2021 Faculty Interest Groups

Chinese UGA Professors: The primary shared interest of this FIG is to exchange ideas and experience of how Chinese faculty develop and enhance their academic careers in US.  The goals are both social and learning. Contact Tianming Liu, Department of Computer Science. 

 The FIG BIO-VOLCANO will initiate a collaborative, interdisciplinary research discussion on "BIOlogy looking after VOLCANOes (BIO-VOLCANO): How trees, plants, insects, soils, and microbes tell us about volcanic activity.” The main goal of this project is to evaluate whether trees, plants, insects, soils, and microbes can be used as tools for monitoring volcanic activity, including the possibility of forecasting volcanic eruptions. This FIG will foster collaboration between scientists of different research expertise and skills: Kamal Gandhi, Brittany Barnes (forest entomologists; Warnell), Caterina Villari (forest pathologist; Warnell), Elizabeth Ottesen (microbiologist), Aaron Thompson (soil scientist), Anna Chung (plant biologist), Randy Culp (CAIS Director), Alexander Cherkinsky, Carla Hadden (environmental scientists), and Mattia Pistone (volcanologist). More participants are sought, but enrollment will be capped at 20. The FIG opportunity will favor the discussion on the multiple aspects of this interdisciplinary collaboration within the BIO-VOLCANO team, including the science to be generated, the fieldwork planning at potential volcanic sites (Mt St Helens, WA and Kīlauea, HI, in the USA; Etna and Campi Flegrei in Italy), the funding resources, and the analyses that can be accomplished in the Departments, Schools, Research Centers of UGA. Meetings will occur on a month basis via Zoom for fostering round table for discussions. Participants are also welcome participate virtually via Zoom. The meeting should last 2 hours to ensure effective discussions. To join this group, contact Mattia Pistone.

2019-2020 Faculty Interest Groups

Chinese UGA Professors: The primary shared interest of this FIG is to exchange ideas and experience of how Chinese faculty develop and enhance their academic careers in US.  The goals are both social and learning. Contact Tianming Liu, Department of Computer Science. 

Eye Tracker Research: Discuss, present, educate, and learn from one another about eye tracker data and how gaze patterns reveal cognitive strategies. Discover connections between the disciplines and create collaborative projects. Contact Rebecca Atkins, Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

Images as Data: We all work with images as data. Goals are learning and potential collaboration in addition to making social connections. Contact Nora Williams, Department of International Affairs. 

Trivia NightThis is a social group. The goal is to go out and play trivia, initially at SBC, but future locations are flexible. Contact Jessica O'Connell, Department of Marine Sciences.