SPARC Launch

January 29, 2019 | University of Minnesota (Minneapolis Campus - East Bank)

SPARC Launch Agenda

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

3:00–3:30 p.m.

Network & Mingle

3:30–4:00 p.m.

Welcome from VPR Cramer and Dean McQuaid

4:00–6:00 p.m.

Discover & Engage

McNamara Alumni Center

Thomas H. Swain Meeting Room

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

200 Oak Street S.E.

Minneapolis, MN 55455

Join us as we officially launch SPARC!

Are you or do you know a researcher looking for new sources of research support? Are you interested in being part of research teams that span the University and connect with organizations doing important work outside the U? Are you a grant administrator looking for support for large and complex grant proposals?

If so, please join us Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at McNamara Center (UMTC) to officially launch University of Minnesota’s Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC), a new research service and innovation hub created to help multidisciplinary teams from across the University submit and execute complex grant proposals, particularly those offered by nontraditional funding agencies and requiring external partners.

University faculty and staff will have an opportunity to share their research team needs with the SPARC team and meet others in the UMN community interested in collaborating toward global impact.


Creating a culture of interdisciplinary research, innovation, and implementation of new solutions is critical to solving the world’s biggest challenges. SPARC aims to mobilize a global community of partners and UMN faculty and staff from across colleges, sectors and disciplines to fulfill our land grant mission—to provide solutions to benefit the state, the nation, and the world.

  • SPARC provides a comprehensive structure that allows for multidisciplinary teams of faculty, staff and students to readily submit and execute complex global grants that span University systems’ colleges and schools, involve nontraditional funding agencies, and require external partners.
  • These opportunities require management, implementation expertise and administrative oversight that go beyond individual faculty capacities and necessarily involve institutional commitment to be successful.
  • Through multiple large-scale and multi-disciplinary projects, SPARC leverages this work and expertise for new funding and opportunities.

SPARC is currently led by Amy Kircher, DrPH., and Katey Pelican, DVM, Ph.D. and supported by the UMN Office of Vice President for Research and Global Programs & Strategy Alliance. The launch event is designed to facilitate face-to-face networking. If you are unable to travel or make the event in person, please feel free to contact SPARC leaders for more information.