Nominations accepted for new Dixon Award for graduate innovation

March 3, 2014 - 5:55am

The University of Oregon's office for Research, Innovation and Graduate Education (RIGE) is now accepting nominations for the new Julie and Rocky Dixon Graduate Innovation Award.

The student-driven fellowship will support as many as six doctoral students pursuing innovative experiences in preparation for careers outside of academia, with funding that begins this fall.

“First and foremost, the Dixon Award will boost the career potential of doctoral students, but it will also benefit students’ academic departments, labs, research centers and other UO units,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the graduate school. “The program will foster new connections with agencies, museums, non-profits, private companies, national laboratories and other partners. That network will only grow in size and strength as the program progresses.”

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for their own creative, nine-month fellowship experiences that incorporate plans for doctoral research and point toward individual professional goals. Experiences may include summer 2014 activities, although funding will begin in the fall. Eligible activities could include:

  • Internships or cooperative experiences with companies, agencies/organizations (e.g., non-governmental organizations, think-tanks, etc.), public policy initiatives or a nonacademic research organizations. For example, a proposal might involve serving as an intern organizing a high profile symposium for a governmental policy initiative, followed by a focused period of dissertation work that happens concurrently while drafting a report and/or grant applications for use by the agency in getting the initiative off the ground.
  • An opportunity to conduct mentored activities in a museum (e.g., curating an exhibition) or archive setting, and then spending time developing the dissemination materials for use by the archive, for a topic matter related to dissertation research.
  • Applying an academic skill set to develop a business, such as a consulting firm or other entrepreneurial venture. For example, the proposal might entail spending three months being mentored by an entrepreneur in the field, another four months working to develop a business plan and another two months launching the business, all while conducting dissertation research.

The selection committee will fund as many as six proposals that meet the spirit of the new award. Students are responsible for seeking out and arranging the opportunities and developing individual plans of activities (that should include their doctoral research and may include other departmental obligations) for the fellowship award period.

The host entity must agree to provide evaluation and assessment of the student’s experience and performance.

For more information about the Dixon Award, contact Kyle Reynolds, Graduate School student affairs manager, at or 541-346-2489 or visit the Dixon Award information page on the UO Graduate School website.

- from the UO office of Research, Innovation and Graduate Education