All applicants to the ASRC-NSF TRANSPIRE Bootcamp must read and accept the following informed consent letter as part of their application. Please review the agreement below carefully, and indicate your acceptance on your application.
You can also download and print this agreement for your reference.
Consent to Participate in a Research Study
Title of Research Study
EAGER GERMINATION: TRANSPIRE – A transdisciplinary dialogic pedagogy for conceptualizing research questions with transformative potential
Linda Vigdor, M.F.A, Ph.D. Associate Director of Proposal Development, ASRC
National Science Foundation, Germination Program, award #2203605
You are being asked to participate in a research study associated with the postdoctoral training program TRANSPIRE (A transdisciplinary dialogic pedagogy for conceptualizing research questions with transformative potential). The TRANSPIRE Program will run over the academic year (no summers) and is specifically designed help postdocs gain skills in germinating potentially transformative research questions that have the potential to contribute to solving seemingly intractable scientific and societal challenges. Participants will be assigned a bootcamp group that include a mix of disciplines/fields and each group will be no more than 8 participants.
Based on your completed application to the TRANSPIRE postdoctoral training program, you qualify to participate in the research study associated with the program.
The purpose of this research study is to pilot and evaluate a transdisciplinary training pedagogy as a theory of change. The research will evaluate the TRANSPIRE pedagogical model to document whether, how, and why habits of mind shift from a traditionally siloed disciplinary focus and how this process shapes a researcher’s skills in germinating societally impactful scientific research questions.
We are seeking your consent to include you in the research and evaluation activities associated with the TRANSPIRE training program and note that participation in the program is voluntary. The purpose of the research includes evaluating the effectiveness and potential scalability of a pedagogical model for helping emerging researchers (postdoctoral researchers, in this case) to conceptualize research questions that have the potential to address grand challenges facing science and society.
The research and evaluation activities are integrated into the TRANSPIRE training that you will be participating in; participation in the research-evaluation will include data gathered in the application, weekly bootcamp group meetings, research and writing assignments, reflective journals, presentations and ensuing discussions, occasional surveys and questionnaires, participation in a focus group, and your LinkedIn profile.
- All information collected over the course of the study will be used as research data and for evaluation. Specific research and evaluation activities that the postdoctoral researchers will be involved in include:
- Bootcamp application (with demographic questions, academic CV, and short essays about the applicant’s research).
- Participate in weekly Bootcamp group meetings (on Zoom) to discuss work-in- progress and other materials; Zoom meetings will be recorded.
- Bootcamp research and writing assignments (research questions and statements, and other activities to help clarify these).
- Weekly reflective journals (in a digital, secured format) over the academic year of the Bootcamp; prompts will be provided.
- Participation in Bootcamp activities, including presentations to the Advisory Board and mentors.
- Responses to an occasional questionnaire or interview conducted by the evaluator
- Participation in a focus group at the end of the year to collectively contribute ideas and perceptions to the evaluation of the program
- Participation in brief questionnaires or maintain a LinkedIn profile to enable researchers to follow participants’ research career trajectories over a few years or until the postdoc secures a research position beyond the postdoc or research associate level
- Risks or discomforts to participants are not expected to be more than would be expected in normal academic interactions.
- The research subjects are postdoctoral researchers participating in a pilot training bootcamp and the faculty mentors who will be involved in aspects of delivering this training. All participants may benefit from the activities, as follows:
- Benefits that postdoc participants may expect from the research include enhanced skills in germinating and evaluating highly impactful research questions, enhanced skills in critically and creatively thinking across disciplines and with diverse collaborators, an expanded professional network, contributing to an innovative research training pedagogy, and polished application materials for applying to positions as the postdocs prepare for their next career phase.
- Benefits that the faculty mentors may derive include opportunities to build new networks across disciplines; develop new strategies for pursuing, supporting, or teaching transdisciplinary approaches to collaboration; and new strategies for mentoring students in the processes of conceptualizing research questions.
The expectation is that you will attend all bootcamp group meetings and participate in all the above activities. If you consent to participate in the TRANSPIRE program and the associated research study, we will ask you to do the following:
- Consistently attend your Bootcamp group’s meetings and events, complete
assignments, participate in the group’s discussions and provide constructive feedback to peers; allow these meetings to be recorded (in Zoom).
- Keep weekly reflective journals, to be uploaded to a password secured site; allow access by the PI and evaluator. Example reflection prompts: (1) What did I accomplish this week in the bootcamp meeting and as I worked on the homework? (2) Did a specific activity or discussion inspire me or help me clarify or challenge my thinking? (3) Explain the context and why I think this was a meaningful activity or interaction, for me. (4) Did I find anything notably challenging (productively so or just frustrating) this past week?
- Prepare and present a research statement at an event attended by the PI, co-PIs, Advisory Board, your postdoc supervisor, and the TRANSPIRE evaluator. Allow audio recording and provide a digital copy of your presentation.
- Participate in an interview with the evaluator (30-60 minutes, over Zoom). Example interview questions: (1) What are you envisioning as your next career step? What have you found most challenging about writing research questions in the past? (2) What type of training in formulating research questions did you get in your PhD or postdoctoral positions? (3) Please describe how participation in this project is likely to support your career.
- Prepare a chalk talk (the talk a faculty candidate gives to a search committee about their future research plans) and/or research poster to present at an event at the end of the academic year.
This event will be attended by the PI, co-PIs, Advisory Board, your postdoc supervisor, and the TRANSPIRE evaluator as well as CUNY researchers or other invited guests. Allow audio recording of the event and discussions.
- Complete a post-program survey (30 minutes)
- Participate in a focus group at the end of the academic year (the conclusion of that year’s TRANSPIRE activities) to contribute to the project’s evaluation. (anticipated to take 2 hours
Audio Recording/Video Recording/Photographs:
To ensure that the evaluator is able to observe proceedings of each bootcamp session without adding a distracting presence, each Zoom meeting will be recorded. Postdoc presentations and the ensuing discussions will be audio recorded. These recordings will be available only to the evaluator and PI for research and evaluation purposes. Recordings will be stored on a secure server at the ASRC and then deleted from the recording device.
Segments of the recordings may be transcribed to facilitate accuracy of our findings and maintaining confidentiality of the participants. No images will be used in publications or be shared beyond the PI and evaluator. Pseudonyms will replace participants’ names, unless the person explicitly asks to be identified by their given name. If you do not wish to be recorded then you cannot participate in the study.
Your participation in this research study is expected to continue through the academic year.
Potential Risks or Discomforts:
When sharing intellectual ideas at an early stage there may be a slight risk of others’ using those ideas. All participants in the project will be required to sign and adhere to a confidentiality agreement. All participants (including members of the research team) are expected to maintain a high level of research ethics; anyone found not adhering to this policy will be asked to leave the program and will be reported to the CUNY research integrity official.
There always exists the potential for loss of confidentiality of your data. There are procedures in place to minimize this risk as outlined below.
- Benefits that postdoc participants may expect from the research include enhanced skills in conceptualizing and evaluating highly impactful research questions, enhanced skills in thinking across disciplines and with diverse collaborators, an expanded professional network, insights into an innovative research training pedagogy, and polished application materials for applying to positions as the postdocs prepare for the next career phase.
- Benefits that the Advisory Board, Postdocs’ supervisors, and Faculty Fellows (as participants in the research itself) may derive include opportunities to build new networks across disciplines; develop new strategies for pursuing, supporting, or teaching transdisciplinary approaches to collaboration; and new strategies for mentoring students in the processes of conceptualizing research questions.
- The potential benefit to science and society will be a cohort of scientists well-prepared to tackle intractable problems that are more likely solvable via cross-disciplinary collaborations.
Payment for Participation:
Postdoctoral researcher participants will not be receiving monetary compensation but are expected to receive non-monetary benefits of extensive mentoring.
You will be notified about any new information regarding this study that may affect your willingness to participate in a timely manner.
We will make our best efforts to maintain confidentiality of any information that is collected during this research study, and that can identify you. We will disclose this information only with your permission or as required by law.
We will protect your confidentiality by creating pseudonyms for sharing data outside the research team and in publications. Only the research team will have access to raw data (Zoom meeting recordings, surveys, focus groups or interviews, and journals).
The research team, authorized CUNY staff, and government agencies that oversee this type of research may have access to research data and records in order to monitor the research. Research records provided to authorized, non-CUNY individuals will not contain identifiable information about you. Publications and/or presentations that result from this study will not identify you by name unless you specifically ask us to do so, in writing.
The information we collect from you as part of this study will not be used or distributed for future research.
- Your participation in this research study is entirely voluntary. If you decide not to participate, there will be no penalty to you, and you will not lose any benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.
- Your participation or nonparticipation in this study will in no way affect your grades, your academic standing with CUNY, or any other status in the College.
- Your participation or nonparticipation in this study will in no way affect your employment at CUNY.
- You can decide to withdraw your consent and stop participating in the research at any time, without any penalty.
Questions, Comments or Concerns:
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the research, you can talk to one of the following researchers:
- Linda Vigdor (PI); firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deborah Hecht (evaluator): email@example.com
If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, or you have comments or concerns that you would like to discuss with someone other than the researchers, please call the CUNY Research Compliance Administrator at 646-664-8918 or email HRPP@cuny.edu. Alternatively, you may write to:
CUNY Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
Attn: Research Compliance Administrator
205 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017