Speed Networking

Shop your research ideas while you network with DoD Program Officers. A speed networking session is a one-on-one opportunity for invited researchers to flesh out ideas with Program Officers (POs) for future solicitations. Each speed networking slot will be limited to 15 minutes. Please be prepared to concisely convey your ideas in a few minutes.

Research Menu

To ensure you are matched with the most appropriate program officer to discuss your ideas, you must submit a research menu in advance of the event.  If you are interested in participating in the speed networking session, please email your research menu as a PDF attachment (use the following naming convention:  LASTNAME_DEPSCoR research menu) to Dr. Melissa Edwards (melissa.a.edwards42.ctr@mail.mil) AND Dr. Jennifer Becker (jennifer.j.becker.civ@army.mil), no later than 22 September 2023. Researchers will be notified of the speed networking schedule via email a week before the event.

Research Menu Content

When creating a research menu document, keep the scope to one or two pages. This will streamline the review process. Describe three to four research ideas, with each idea limited to a paragraph or two that contains a well-defined scientific question that you have an interest in answering. Graphics can be used as long as the menu does not go over two pages.

Questions to keep in mind:

  • Is it basic research?
  • What are the scientific questions?
  • Why is it a hard question?
  • Why you? Why now? (What’s the novelty of your skills/abilities/approach, etc., that makes you think you can get in the vicinity of an answer?)
  • So what? (Why does it matter to the scientific community?)
  • Where’s the risk?
  • What will it take?

While designing your research menu, assume each PO has sufficient knowledge of their field and about the needs of the service for which they work. Keep your background and motivation brief; if the PO has questions, follow-up is easy.


The research menu does two things for the PO:

First, the PO can quickly get a sense of the scope of your interests and where they might overlap with programmatic priorities.

Second, for those ideas that don’t find immediate traction, at least now the PO is aware of them and can promote them to others within the DoD science and technology community who might find them interesting. Scientific match-making is among the top duties of DoD Program Officers. We can’t promote you to others if we don’t know about the new ideas you have. Scanning the literature only tells us about what you have done, not about the bold new ideas you might have.


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