Bìguān 闭关

Aug. 2023 bìguān cohort, L-R: Maria Parker; Molly Rosenberg; Rebecca Lassell; Jordan Hill; Vanessa (Martinez) Kercher; William T. Riley, former director of the NIH OBSSR; and Associate Dean for Research Kelli Ryckman (Not pictured: Jerono Rotich,
Associate Dean for Organizational Climate, Inclusion, and Belonging)

In addition to the valuable protected time and space, as well as the expert consultation, participants sharpen their grant-writing skills and enjoy the opportunity to network with other researchers in pre- and post-bìguān initiatives. As outlined in a pledge that all participants sign, those with teaching or other obligations may leave the bìguān to attend to their responsibilities, but the dedicated space, colleagues, and experts remain available to them for the entirety of the bìguān. The pledge also specifies important and measurable responsibilities before, during, and after the weeklong session.

As with any meaningful event, there is opportunity to both plan for and reflect on the experience. Researchers participate in preparatory meetings to discuss expectations, goals, and objectives. Upon conclusion, follow-up meetings provide an opportunity to reflect on what worked, what could be improved, and how to continue to keep their efforts on track.

To date, the school has hosted more than two dozen bìguāns—some in person, some virtually. Successful proposals drafted during bìguāns include submissions by SPH-B faculty Molly Rosenberg, Patrick Quinn, and Dean Allison himself.