Our Community of Practice Focus

Seeking Feedback from CLASP

Thank you to everyone who has been able to attend one of the virtual discussions this spring!

As the Broad Topic conveners and participants hone in on their conference content, we seek feedback from the entire CLASP community.

Compliance Survey

Please complete the Compliance survey by Friday, June 10th.

Zoom discussion on the survey results:

Wednesday, June 29th, 11 a.m. PT, noon MT, 1 p.m. CT and 2 p.m. ET


(posted early February 2022)

Content Development

We anticipate identifying four "broad topics" that will each be allocated an hour to 1.5 hours at the November conference at Colorado College.

What sort of things would you like to discuss with your colleagues? Do you have IDEAS for the Broad Topics?   You can access the Jamboard here. It includes a page for each of the following possible broad topics:

  • Faculty Outreach
  • Post-Award Management
  • Compliance
  • Advocating for the Sponsored Research Office
  • Proposal Development
  • Prospecting

Once we have fleshed out these pages, I will issue a survey asking for CLASPers to align themselves with one or more of the discussion groups for each of the four broad topics.


As of early February, we foresee the following phases:

Spring discussion phase (through May):
  • Interested CLASP members will align themselves with one or more of the discussion groups
  • Each discussion group will meet for 3 to 5 discussion sessions between March 1 and May 31.
  • The conveners (aka “advisors”) will be in charge of scheduling the meetings, guiding the discussions, and planning the conference session.
  • We will also ask for volunteers to serve as notetakers at each discussion.
  • We will invite CLASP members to serve as “committed” participants in a discussion group of their choosing. While we recognize that it may be difficult to attend every meeting of a particular discussion group, the goal would be to have a core group (5 to 8 people?) in each discussion group.
  • Those who are interested in a topic but are unable to commit to 3 to 5 sessions would be considered “occasional” participants. While unable to make every session, their contributions will be incredibly valuable, bringing fresh ideas & questions into each discussion.
  • All are welcome to participate in more than one discussion group
  • The conveners and Tess (as the host of this year’s conference) will coordinate the timing of the discussions to avoid scheduling conflicts between discussion groups.
Conference content identification phase (June-July):
  • The conveners will work with their respective groups to identify the best use of their topic’s ~1 to 1.5 hours at the conference. This could involve having two to four “subtopics,” which would each receive (from 10 to 20 minutes during the conference session), or it could involve identifying panelists for a broader discussion.
  • For each subtopic, the groups will identify a small team (one to three members?) to prepare the meeting presentation. Ideally, at least one person would be planning to attend the conference in person.
  • It is possible that not all members of a team will be able to attend the conference in person, but all members would be recognized as being contributors to the conference and would play a role in virtual follow-up discussions after the conference.
  • Those who volunteer to prepare a meeting presentation would become eligible for financial support to attend the conference in person. We have resources to supplement travel funding for up to five individuals. At this time, the LAG has not yet identified the process for allocating these resources, but we anticipate that a person’s level of involvement in the Spring discussions will play a role.
  • The LAG would share the process/rubric for allocating financial support to team members.
Conference content development phase (August-October):
  • Members of the subtopic teams meet at their convenience to discuss and prepare their presentation.
  • The conveners serve as a resource, sounding board, and point of contact for the subtopic teams.
  • The LAG would allocate supplemental funding for travel to the conference.


(Posted January 2022)

Proposal to CLASP for Community of Practice Focus


  • The Nov. 2022 meeting would embrace the “Community of Practice” approach that we have featured in some individual sessions in recent meetings.
  • The content for the CLASP meeting would be developed by the CLASP community over the next several months.
  • The content for the CLASP meeting would evolve from virtual discussion groups (similar to our coffee chats) centered on four broad topics (which are TBD).
  • Content might fall into one of two themes: high-impact practices (ie meeting with tenure-track candidates, learning from declines, faculty grant-writing workshops) and addressing common challenges (compliance, office management, proposal development).
  • Each broad topic would have an advisor from the LAG or other member of the CLASP community to lead/advise/coordinate the discussions.
  • Each broad topic would be allocated an hour to 1.5 hours at the meeting, and the discussion group would have a fair amount of latitude in allocating their time: perhaps there are multiple short sessions (similar to 15-minute “Ignite Session” held at past meetings) or perhaps they opt for a longer panel discussion.
  • The goal would be for the discussion groups to use the conference as a platform for “reporting out” to the larger group, perhaps with lessons learned from the discussions. When possible, presenters would share a product, resource or tool with the broader community. At the moment, I imagine the conference would be a series of plenary sessions, although a particular discussion group might opt for breakout sessions during their time allotment.
  • There would be opportunities for all CLASPers to engage in follow-up discussions in “Coffee Chats” after the conference.
  • Any tools or resources developed would be shared in the Collaboratory, as would the slides of powerpoint presentations, etc.

An example of how content might develop this spring

Let’s imagine that one of the four broader topics is “Faculty Outreach.” The topic advisor schedules three virtual discussions on this broad topic to be held over the spring. Some CLASPers attend all of these discussions; some are able to attend one or two. A wide variety of ideas and challenges related to Faculty Outreach are generated via the three discussions (ideally someone has volunteered to take notes), and by the last discussion the topic advisor and several other regular attendees have noticed that there is a lot of fertile discussion around two subtopics in particular. One of these ideas (let’s say) is related to a high-impact practice: how some institutions have incorporated the SPO office into their recruitment process for tenure-track candidates. The topic advisor would work with other attendees to identify a small team who is interested in taking the lead on this subtopic. What does this look like on different campuses? What have SPOs/institutions experienced as the benefits? Perhaps the team reaches out to a few CLASP colleagues to ask for more information about their process. After a discussion with their topic advisor, they are allocated 20-30 minutes in the session on “Faculty Outreach” to share what they learned, providing a sense of roughly how many colleges do this, how the SPOs are involved, and what they’ve learned are challenges and benefits. A conference product might be a one-page summary that the CLASP community could “bring back” to their campuses if they wish to either advocate for a similar practice on their campus or improve their existing practice.

Opportunity for Professional Development

We all have aspects of our work that we are proud of and we all have areas where we are challenged. The goal of shifting the conference in this way would be to create pathways for people to share their successes in an organic way. Let’s learn from each other in a more structured way! (And because we know how busy we all are, let’s extend each other grace in the process – we know that any progress on these topics is better than nothing!)

My hope would also be that CLASPers would be able to engage in this work as a professional development opportunity, and that when individuals choose to work on a particular idea/team, it ultimately aligns with goals and projects that they may already be working on in their own offices.

Opportunity for Financial Support for Presenters

We want to encourage participation from everyone, not only those who work at institutions with a travel budget. We are hope to be able to offer some modest supplementary funding to support up to five people who take the lead on a subtopic so that they are able to attend the conference in person.


At this time, I imagine virtual conversations on each broad topic would happen this spring. Advisors for each broad topic - working with their conversation attendees - would identify meeting presentation topics (aka “subtopics”) in the early summer. Presenters (who could be solo or part of a team) would then have most of the summer to prepare their meeting presentation.

Report an issue - Last updated: 05/31/2022