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W&M faculty are an essential component of the interdisciplinary teams that conduct applied research through the Conservation Research Program.

Faculty mentors meet with external conservation partners to understand their goals and to narrow down the scope of the student project to ensure it meets an applied need for the partners and is feasible for the student to complete in a year. After working with partners to understand their goals, the faculty mentor meets regularly with the W&M undergraduate student throughout the program year to support them through the process of completing the research. There are numerous benefits to W&M faculty mentors:

  1. The program provides opportunities for faculty to build relationships with external conservation partners and to identify long-term opportunities for collaboration on research and fundraising.
  2. The research program provides an opportunity for faculty to expand and enhance their research. Several faculty members have volunteered to mentor students on project with loose connection to their research but have found interesting projects and alignment after collaborating with external partners.
  3. Faculty are able to focus mentorship primarily on the specifics of the research, because program foundations such proposal development, and research and leadership skill development are covered by the weekly program lab.
  4. The research stipends and travel support provided by the IIC for the students helps to advance faculty research and interdisciplinary collaboration goals.

W&M faculty can get involved in the CRP in two ways:

  1. Propose an applied research project by responding to the CRP RFP in the spring. Proposals should be for applied research that aligns with their own research priorities, meets an applied need for an external conservation partner, and can be completed by a student in one year
  2. Serve as a faculty mentor on a project proposed by conservation partners. Many IIC external conservation partners submit project proposals in response to our spring RFP.  W&M faculty can serve as mentors for students on projects proposed by external partners.