Research Support

OFA seeks to supplement the research support provided by offices across the university by offering peer-to-peer programming and assembling research support tools and strategies found on campus and elsewhere. This new initiative began in Summer 2021 and can be expected to grow and develop throughout the year. Take a look at OFA Events and/or MSU Events page to see what’s offered.

Faculty who have ideas for programs should contact Emily Isaacs.  Ideas welcome.

Faculty who are interested in broadening their impact through media engagement or participation in other public projects, including Research with Montclair, can see Going public with your research.

Semester-long groups and projects

Research bootcamp pop-ups

  • In this 3-hour Zoom session, researchers are invited to come together to work on their solo scholarly projects. The idea here is that many researchers have trouble prioritizing and making time for research. For many, teaching comes first too much of the time, and scholarly goals get short-shrift. By carving out time, committing to it, researchers who struggle for time, make time. We come together, close email and other distractions, and work silently, the camera on or off. During the 3 hour period, the facilitator will pull people together 3 or 4 times, with brief focusing activities. Faculty are welcome to commit to the full 3 hours or whatever works.  Offered on an ad-hoc basis.

Writing & research groups

  • Faculty pursuing research and writing goals are invited to sit quietly and write with other purposeful researchers. The 90 minutes will begin with some brief conversation, goal-setting, and then we will write quietly, “together” on Zoom, until we come together again at the end for a five-minute closing. Some materials to support writing and engagement will also be provided. But the time itself is for research activities. 30-minute additional optional time scheduled at the end.  Offered as a term program, 90-120 minute sessions once a week. Facilitated by Emily Isaacs. Interested?  Check our OFA Scholarship calendar in the OFA Events page to see when writing groups are offered. If you have question, please send an email to

Writing circles

  • In writing circles, groups of faculty working in broadly related areas come together monthly to commit and report on research progress and to offer feedback to one or two faculty members’ research-in-progress.  At these 75-minute sessions, the first 15 minutes are reserved for each individual to share his or her progress toward an identified goal and commit to a new or revised goal.  The rest of the 60 minute period is for responding to research-in-progress.  Faculty who join the writing circle commit to working on their own writing, sharing their research-in-progress at least once a year, and reading one or two draft articles or reports each month. Faculty are also expected to commit to attending most of the sessions.
  • AY21-22: Teaching & learning, foundations and policy in education writing circle. Facilitated by Jaime Grinberg (Teaching and Learning) and Emily Isaacs, this group is for researchers working in the area of teaching and learning, K-12 or higher education. Faculty who are interested in the program should write directly to Jaime Grinberg and Emily Isaacs to briefly explain their area of study, their interests, and what makes a writing circle appealing.

Week-long research & writing bootcamps

  • Join this program if you’d like to jump-start your summer with a boot-camp that will intensify your research productivity this summer.  The group will have a few defined tasks to support planning, intention-building, and accountability and lots of time for “Zoom” writing together. An in-person option is available. The week will end with an opportunity to come together for some sharing and intention setting for the rest of the summer, hybrid. Facilitated by Emily Isaacs. Interested?  Check our OFA Scholarship calendar in the  OFA Events page to see when bootcamps are offered. If you have question, please send an email to

Workshops and sessions

Managing the teaching workload

  • Facilitated by OFA and featuring faculty who are strong, committed teachers who have also figured out how to maintain an active research agenda while teaching.  Offered intermittently.  See Events and Monday email for specifics.
  • Efficiency strategies for researchers
  • In this session, offered intermittently throughout the year, the facilitator(s) will share strategies and techniques for facilitating research productivity. Researchers will be introduced to software (Endnote, task manager systems) and organizational strategies (process notes, goal setting). Participants are encouraged to come ready to plan their research.  

Leading and managing research groups

  • In development.

Running a research lab

  • In development
  • Reading(s) will be from Equity Talk to Equity Walk.  Dates TBD.