FAQs about WE&RF Exploratory Teams

What is an Exploratory Team?

What are the qualifications to be an Exploratory Team member?

How will WE&RF use the information developed by the Exploratory Teams?

What is the difference between Exploratory Teams, Issue Area Teams, and Project Advisory Committees?

Does being on an Exploratory Team affect my ability to propose on WE&RF research?

How will these Exploratory Teams be established?

What is the time commitment?

Where can I find additional information?

What is an Exploratory Team?

A team of seven to 10 experts/practitioners, with varied backgrounds, who will explore and provide guidance to WE&RF on a future research area. The Exploratory Team will develop information that will be presented to WE&RF’s Research Advisory Council. The information can include a state-of-knowledge summary and a research strategy. The strategy could include measures/metrics of success, potential funding partners and research collaborators, sources and amount of funding, and types of products, communication and outreach, and the overall value of conducting the research.

The team will be led by a WE&RF program director who will coordinate the team's efforts.

What are the qualifications to be an Exploratory Team member?

These are voluntary positions so members must be willing and able to serve in such a voluntary role and to be active participants. Nominees should have expertise and/or experience in one or more key aspects of the research area. Note there are technical and non-technical (e.g., management, policy, communication) aspects for the research areas. Being able to contribute to the state-of-knowledge summary is essential. First-hand knowledge and experience in developing research strategies is important.

How will WE&RF use the information developed by the Exploratory Teams?

The information will be presented to WE&RF's Research Advisory Council which makes research priority and funding recommendations.

What is the difference between Exploratory Teams, Issue Area Teams, and Project Advisory Committees?

An Exploratory Team is a volunteer group of advisors who develop the state-of-knowledge summary of key aspects of new research areas. Once there is a specific project, an Issue Area Team is established to oversee implementation of the research area. The Issue Area Team develops projects under the research area.  

Project Advisory Committees are established for specific projects and are responsible for developing the request for proposals, review proposals, recommend a research team or teams to do the work, and provide technical peer review of the ongoing research.

Does being on an Exploratory Team affect my ability to propose on WE&RF research?

Members of an Exploratory Team cannot participate on a research team proposing on an RFP covered by this research area. An Exploratory Team member can, however, propose on RFPs covering other challenges, as well as any/all RFPs for other WE&RF research (e.g., unsolicited).  There will be an opportunity for Exploratory Team members to step down after the state-of-knowledge summary is prepared, but before a specific and detailed research strategy and plan (including RFP outline) is developed. This would allow an individual to participate on a research team proposing on an RFP for the challenge.

Nominees are asked to indicate on the non-disclosure agreement whether they anticipate participating only in the development of the state-of-knowledge summary (i.e., through September) and would then step down from the Exploratory Team in order to have the option to propose on RFPs from the research area.

How will these Exploratory Teams be established?

A selection committee representing WE&RF's Research Advisory Council will appoint the Exploratory Team members. Appointments will be for the duration of the Exploratory Team activities (about six months). 

What is the time commitment?

Exploratory Team members will have an active role providing input (information, review, comment, edits) during the entire process – which is typically six months. Monthly to biweekly conference calls are anticipated.  

Where can I find additional information?

For other questions about Exploratory Teams contact Jeff Mosher, WE&RF Chief Research Officer, at jmosher@werf.org or (571) 384-2105.