Conover to discuss the state of UO research in a Jan. 9 talk

David Conover

David Conover, the UO’s vice president for research and innovation, will discuss the state of research at the university in a Jan. 9 presentation that was rescheduled from last fall.

Conover will provide an overview of research accomplishments at the university, celebrate the successes achieved during the 2017 fiscal year and anticipate future growth. All members of the university community and the public are invited to attend.

“It’s an opportunity for us to reflect on our past successes and look forward to some of the new developments and future growth in research that we can expect to see moving forward,” Conover said. “Our outstanding faculty members conduct transformative research and make exciting discoveries every day on this campus and it’s important for us to take time out to recognize their accomplishments.”

The talk, “The State of UO Research: Celebrating Achievement and Prospects for the Future,” is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the Crater Lake North and South rooms in the Erb Memorial Union. UO President Michael H. Schill and Provost Jayanth Banavar will give opening and closing remarks.

A family emergency forced the rescheduling of the talk, which was originally to be delivered in October.

Conover will provide a detailed analysis of the research numbers from the 2017 fiscal year, which ended June 30. UO researchers brought in $114.9 million in grants, contracts and other competitive awards in 2016–17. Conover will recognize faculty who received major awards in the sciences as well as the arts, humanities, social sciences and professional schools.

“When it comes to research, impact isn’t just about dollar amounts,” Conover said. “Our researchers are working across the spectrum of different disciplines to address society’s most pressing challenges.”

Conover will also offer an overview of innovation efforts. UO innovators contributed $8.8 million in licensing revenue during the 2017 fiscal year, and four new startup companies grew out of UO research innovations.

The current federal funding climate will be a prime area of focus for Conover, who will offer a look at the current status of federal funding and the outlook for the 2018 fiscal year. He will provide details on the UO’s research numbers for the first quarter of 2018 and benchmark the UO’s progress alongside some of its peer institutions.

The overall outlook for research at the UO is one of continued growth, Conover said, pointing to the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact and UO programs designed to attract more research-active, tenure-track faculty members. Schill has set a goal to hire many more research faculty and retain existing faculty to boost the university’s research activity and invest in the institution’s academic enterprise.

“We are at a transformational point in our evolution as a premier research university,” Conover said. “We’re committed to raising our research profile, which will serve to benefit not only our students and our faculty but our local and state communities. Research helps drive the economy by creating jobs and new companies and benefits society by generating new knowledge and solutions to the higher-order problems that society faces.”

By Lewis Taylor, University Communications