Quarterly Message from the Vice President: Spring 2018

Dear Members of the UO Research Community,

I hope you will join me in congratulating our own Judith Eisen on her recent election into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her remarkable accomplishments include pioneering research seeking to understand motor neuron development in vertebrates using the zebrafish model and research examining neural crest development. Additionally, she’s been a strong proponent of science outreach and an amazing mentor to our students — not to mention one of the kindest people you will ever meet.

Eisen is now one of 13 current or retired UO faculty members who have been honored as fellows of the academy. Last year she and five other members of our faculty were named as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). These kinds of awards reflect highly on our institution and I always encourage our faculty to nominate their colleagues for recognition.

In addition to honoring our deserving faculty members, AAAS carries out important work advancing science in society. At a time when federal research funding is being threatened and science is under attack, we need an organization that is dedicated to expanding the public dialogue about the science-based challenges shaping our world. The organization is working to bring scientists, policymakers and the general public together and joining forces with dozens of scientific societies to urge Congress to reject policies that disregard science.

If you’re not a member of AAAS, I encourage you to sign up on the organization’s website. Your membership supports AAAS’ important mission of advancing science for the benefit of all people, and supports our goal of honoring the outstanding research being done by distinguished faculty members like Judith Eisen. Keep in mind that you must be a member of AAAS in order to be nominated as a Fellow.

Another strategic goal for our office has been to support nascent research projects through seed funding programs like the Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives Award, also known as the I3 Award. We’ve also recently launched the OHSU-UO Partnership Program, a collaborative seed funding program between the University of Oregon and Oregon Health & Science University.

These initiatives have been very popular and highly effective. The I3 competition this spring attracted 20 applications. The OHSU-UO Partnership Program attracted applications from more than 40 research teams. Last year the recently announced Center for Environmental Futures was jumpstarted by an Interdisciplinary Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences, a prior partnership between our office and the University of Oregon Foundation.

I’m thrilled to see these kinds of success stories, which demonstrate that our researchers have great ideas and a high level of enthusiasm for interdisciplinary research and multi-institutional collaboration. We will be announcing the recipients of the I3 Awards and the OHSU/UO Seed Grant Program in the coming month. Stay tuned and keep up the great work!