RMAIR’s “Train-the-Trainer” program supports members in bringing knowledge from other conferences to the annual RMAIR Conference. It provides funding for one RMAIR member annually to support attendance at institutional research conferences, including RMAIR and the AIR Forum. The member will then provide a pre-conference workshop at the next RMAIR conference based on workshops or sessions at other conferences in institutional research. Grants supporting attendance at the AIR Forum are eligible for AIR matching funds.
RMAIR members who have attended or will attend one or more conferences related to institutional research, effectiveness, planning, or other functions within the RMAIR mission since the most recent RMAIR conference are eligible to submit proposals based on content from those conferences. Appropriate content from the attended conference includes workshops or a series of related sessions on a particular topic. That content will serve as the basis for a half-day pre-conference workshop offered by the member at the next RMAIR Conference.
Proposals for workshops that are not based on content from other conferences, or that are based on the member’s own presentations at those conferences, are not eligible for the Train-the-Trainer program and should be submitted through the regular conference proposal process. Current RMAIR officers are not eligible to apply.
Train-the-Trainer provides $500 to members to attend any conference related to institutional research, but emphasizes support for the AIR Forum because of its matching grant program. AIR Forum Support awards will be matched by AIR for a total of $1,000. Awards other than AIR Forum Support awards can be used to support attendance at the RMAIR Conference, but the proposed workshop must be based on attendance at other conferences.
The RMAIR treasurer will coordinate payment of RMAIR funds and, if awarded, AIR matching funds, with the member to ensure compliance will applicable laws, regulations, and processes for both RMAIR and the member’s institution.
Presentation of the workshop at the RMAIR Conference is a mandatory condition of the award. Members receiving awards who do not present must repay all awards to RMAIR and, if AIR matching funds were awarded, to AIR.
A call for proposals will be open as soon as possible after AIR makes a tentative program available, but no later than 60 days prior to the first pre-conference workshop. If funding is available (for instance, because no award was made during the regular call for proposals), proposals based on other conferences may also be submitted at the same time as RMAIR Conference presentation proposals.
Members should email the Train-the-Trainer application to the RMAIR Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org), describing why they should be considered for the Train-the-Trainer program subsidy as well as what benefits that their training would bring to RMAIR.
RMAIR’s Train-the-Trainer program aims to enhance communication of ideas between RMAIR and other conferences, especially AIR. This reflects several important needs that members identified in the strategic planning process. Members put a high priority on professional development, but noted that travel costs were a major limitation on their ability to pursue training. Members are most likely to attend AIR or RMAIR but not both, and tend to attend RMAIR more often that AIR. Train-the-Trainer, in particular, was seen as important but not effective. In adopting the strategic plan, RMAIR made revitalizing the Train-the-Trainer program an objective.
In spite of revisions to the program in 2013, no members submitted proposals to attend the AIR 2014, prompting further reconsideration of the plan structure. In considering revisions, the Executive Board sought to ensure that the award was sufficient to support the aim of bringing knowledge to the RMAIR conference, to strengthen the incentive for participating in the RMAIR conference, and to widen the scope of the conferences in which members could participate. It adopted rules that would support participation in the RMAIR Conference based on attendance at other institutional research conferences.
Following those revisions, AIR announced a matching travel grant program for regional organizations. Regional affiliated organizations that provide funding for members to attend AIR are eligible to receive matching funds from the national group up to $1,000. The RMAIR Train-the-Trainer program as revised does not meet the requirements for this funding, as it does not pay for members to attend AIR. The executive board determined that the program should be modified to take advantage of the matching grant program where possible without undermining the goals of the 2014 program revisions.