Michigan State University is developing a new role for students in research projects across disciplines that drives the use, and adoption of, OER methodology. Called a ?Translational Scholar,? this role prepares students to be agents of change in their field. As part of a research team, graduate students not only conduct research but also serve in a translational role, creating open knowledge for stakeholders of the research.
Students create three outputs as part of their role on a research project or research internship: (1) publishable research such as a thesis or contribution to a paper; (2) a teaching case or example, including open data, in print or video designed for use in a specific curriculum; (3) training or information materials for the community or setting in which they are doing their research. The teaching case and the community materials are designed to be peer reviewed and published as Open Educational Resources.
Several initiatives at MSU have incorporated Translational Scholars into their projects. The AgShare project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working with the RUFORUM (Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture) to scale up the AgShare Method of Translational Scholars by embedding the model in their participatory action research teams. The USAID-funded Global Center for Food Systems Innovation has built Translational Scholars into their research teams; and the National Institutes for Health-funded conference grant for One-Health created a Translational Scholar Corp to work with faculty teams.
Project leads are currently developing a shared set of Translational Scholar competencies across these projects. An Open Knowledge Convening in February 2013 resulted in an initial set of skills, knowledge and behavior required of students in this new role on a research team. We invite participants to collaborate in the creation of a Translational Scholar Corps across organizations.