Nearly a dozen University of Alabama faculty members gather at a large round table in the third-floor rotunda of Carmichael Hall. Sunlight beams through the roof and reflects off shards of glass sprinkled in the Nall Hollis art works lining the walls.

It’s a peaceful setting for discussing research interests.

Collaborative meetings are typically informal and sometimes happen organically, but the purpose of this luncheon and the selection of its participants are intentional: to lay groundwork for interdisciplinary research.

The School of Social Work held its first “speed research networking luncheon” recently to spark collaborative research between its faculty and researchers across campus. Faculty from the College of Education met with Social Work researchers to discuss overlapping research areas of drug addiction, literacy, mental health and language education, among others.

The School hopes the networking yields pilot studies with faculty across campus and jump-starts larger research projects and pursuit of funding, both internally and externally, said Hee Yun Lee, associate dean for research for the School of Social Work.

Read more in UA News.