How a Research Initiative is managed

The Research Initiative is the principal vehicle for focused research by the NCGIA. Research Initiatives provide a mechanism for selecting high-priority topics from the research agenda, scheduling and staffing them, building cooperation with researchers outside the Center and involving them directly in the Center's work, and bringing research to closure in a timely and effective fashion. The Initiative life cycle has evolved steadily since the Center's inception through experience, advice from the NCGIA Board of Directors and external consultants, peer and panel reviews solicited by the National Science Foundation, and informal comments received.

The Research Initiative begins with a Specialist Meeting which brings together national and international experts in the field to discuss the topic in question and to prioritize and pursue a research agenda both within and outside the Center. These Specialist Meetings generally include presentations by experts about important ideas which already define the field and provide the opportunity for constructive brainstorming. In addition to academic researchers, representatives from industry and government have always been important participants at Specialist Meeting, contributing their practical viewpoints and concerns. The published research agenda resulting from these meetings have been one of the Center's more important contributions to the development of GIS research.

Research activities continue through structured research by faculty and graduate students at all three sites; by proposals leading to in-depth research funded by federal agencies and institutions, often involving cooperation with researchers outside the consortium; and, through the organization of workshops, working groups and conferences.

Research activities continue through structured research by faculty and graduate students at all three sites, by proposals for in-depth research to be funded by federal agencies and institutions, often involving cooperation with researchers outside the consortium, and through the organization of workshops, working groups, and conferences.