CORVALLIS, Ore. – Irem Tumer, who has helped lead Oregon State University’s research enterprise to record-setting funding levels, has been named vice president for research at the university, President F. King Alexander announced Wednesday.

The appointment is effective immediately. Tumer has served as interim vice president for research since October 2018. 

“Since her interim appointment, Dr. Tumer has worked to enhance a research environment that promotes creativity, entrepreneurship and collaboration and provides support for university-wide research efforts,” Alexander said. “She has been engaged in implementing OSU's fourth strategic plan with a focus on affirming our commitment to engaging in exceptional research, discovery, innovation and engagement.”

As vice president for research, Tumer supports and advances OSU’s research and innovation and works with other leaders and faculty across the institution to advance the benefits of research activity to serve Oregon, the nation and world. 

Research funding at Oregon State increased by more than $10 million in 2019-20, to almost $450 million. That set a university record and marked the third time in four years that OSU’s research awards have totaled more than $400 million.

“I am proud to guide OSU’s research enterprise and to be able to work with and support the thousands of OSU faculty, staff and students, who are delivering incredible research discoveries and innovations each day at Oregon State,” Tumer said. “It is a testament to our researchers that we have been able to continue and grow these efforts despite the challenge brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic.”

OSU scientists have secured nine funding awards totaling more than $4 million for projects related to the pandemic, with several more coronavirus research proposals awaiting decision from funding agencies. Among the work already funded are projects involving the use of genetic messenger RNA nanotherapeutics for treating the disease and OSU’s TRACE-COVID-19 door-to-door sampling that’s taken community-wide virus testing to several Oregon cities.

The research office at Oregon State supports faculty research and innovation through a variety of programs and services, including development and commercialization of university intellectual property; administration of sponsored research funding and compliance; and research integrity review to ensure legal and ethical responsibilities are met.

The office also oversees 20 research centers, institutes, facilities and programs, including the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon Sea Grant and the Center for the Humanities. About 75 people work in research administration and about 150 people work in the centers, institutes and programs that report to the research office.

Tumer joined Oregon State in 2006 as a professor in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME). From 2013 to 2018, she led the College of Engineering's Office of Research as associate dean.

Tumer is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She received her undergraduate, master's and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining OSU, she worked as a senior research scientist and program manager at NASA Ames Research Center, where she formed and led a research group in complex system design and managed multiple research programs.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Michelle Klampe, 541-737-0784, [email protected]


Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, [email protected]



Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.