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Research Development Series: Solving Complex Problems Through Convergence Research

Growing Convergence Research at the National Science Foundation (NSF) was identified in 2016 as one of 10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments. Convergence research is a means of solving vexing research problems, in particular, complex problems focusing on societal needs. It entails integrating knowledge, methods, and expertise from different disciplines and forming novel frameworks to catalyze scientific discovery and innovation. At this event, 

Doug Maughan, who leads National Science Foundation’s Convergence Accelerator Office, will share how the NSF is supporting researchers who address compelling problems by integrating knowledge across disciplines. Discussion will be followed with Q&A.

The series events will be held in a hybrid format with both in-person and zoom options available, which is subject to change depending on the status of COVID-19 cases in the community.

Research Development Series: Solving Complex Problems Through Convergence Research

Oct. 7, 2021 | 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Kelly Hall, Room 310

Host and Moderator

Dan Sui  portrait.

Dan Sui

Vice President
Research and Innovation
Virginia Tech


Doug Maughan portrait.

Doug Maughan

Office Head, Convergence Accelerator
National Science Foundation


Douglas Maughan is the inaugural Office Head for the National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator. NSF launched the program to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance, and initiate convergence team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals. The teams are multidisciplinary and leverage partnerships resulting in deliverables that will benefit society within a fixed term. NSF intends to support fundamental research while encouraging rapid advances through partnerships that include multiple stakeholders (e.g., industry, academic, not-for-profits, government entities).

Maughan previously served within the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate as the Division Director of the Industry Partnerships Division within the Office of Innovation and Collaboration. He was responsible for leading the formation and sustainment of internal and external partnerships across research and development communities, enabling joint R&D and resulting in stronger connections with developer and user communities.

About this series 

In January 2021, the Office of Research and Innovation launched its Research Development Series to help faculty in their journey to increase the scope and impact of their research, creativity, and innovation portfolio. With events focused on different facets of sponsored research, from sponsor-specific perspectives to how to work with partners, this webinar series is intended to answer researchers' biggest questions and enlighten scholars at every step in their career.