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On September 22, ProQuest held a Pivot Workshop in the beautiful Governing Council Chambers, Simcoe Hall at the University of Toronto. This was the first focused product day for Pivot in Canada and was designed to support subscribing members of the Ontario Council on University Research (OCUR). Hosted by the Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation, several research administrators from departments around the University were there, as well as virtual attendees from campuses across Ontario.

The theme of the Workshop was Pivot engagement and best practices for putting the right funding opportunities in front of the right researchers at the right time. In preparation for the Workshop, attendees were asked to consider a list of questions, including: How does your institution currently implement Pivot (central, department admins)? What specific Pivot functionality do researchers use to discover and share funding opportunities? What administrator functionality or Pivot reporting does your institution use? How do administrators share funding opportunities and engage with researchers? 

Using data from Pivot, Jeremy McLaughlin (Research and Workflow Solutions Specialist) began with an overview of the competitive research landscape and the types of funding opportunities available to researchers globally. This was compared to the types of funding and the most funded disciplines available to researchers in Canada, where Medical Science & Healthcare, Technology & Computer Science, and Environmental Science are the most funded. We also looked at the content in profiles from researchers across Canada (with almost 187,500 currently in Pivot) noting that their expertise is well positioned to compete for national and international awards in the areas with the most available funding.

Led by Jeremy and Jason High (Trainer), some of the most exciting insights came from discussions related to differences in the workflow around how discovery is facilitated by administrators, by users, and through profiles. Options for discovery can vary for users based on the content of a profile and the setup of alerts. In addition to some overlooked reporting, administrators have additional options for creating and sharing curated lists and can see additional information about shared content (who has added it to their tracked list, who has viewed a shared funding opportunity). To fully engage with Pivot across any institution, administrators need to know about these differences, maximize their functionality, and help Pivot automate as much of the process of discovery for users as possible.

As part of the Workshop wrap-up, attendees were asked to consider the following question: in terms of promoting Pivot, what is an effective way to get an “oh wow” from potential Pivot users? The first step is matching your funding and workflow needs to the user-, administrator-, and profile-related discovery functionality on the platform. With the right mix of best practices for your organization, Pivot can become an even more effective tool for funding discovery and collaboration.

If you are interested in providing a Pivot training webinar for your organization or if you’d like to propose a consortium Workshop, please contact your ProQuest Pivot Specialist. 

08 Dec 2015

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