CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University is helping to spearhead a $5.2 million National Science Foundation effort toward ensuring that research projects make tangible, positive impacts on society.

OSU is one of 11 institutions, among them Duke, Northwestern, Brown, Michigan State and Missouri, behind a new center devoted to the goal.

Known as ARIS – advancing research impact in society – the center’s physical headquarters will be in Columbia, Missouri.

Julie Risien, associate director of Oregon State’s Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, will lead OSU’s role with the center: to advance scholarship by offering fellowships for individuals and teams to help them conduct research around societal impact.

Scholarship is one of the ARIS Center’s four stated goal areas, along with growing capacity, partnerships and resources to assist both scientists and those who work to help scientists engage with their various communities and demonstrate why their research matters.

“Scientists and engineers are critical in addressing our most pressing social, environmental and technological challenges” Risien said. “They are often seen as isolated from the rest of society – this effort seeks to remedy that, to support scientists.”

Other foundational partners of the ARIS Center are Iowa State University, Northeastern, Rutgers, Wisconsin, and Madison Area Technical College.

“ARIS is the culmination of several efforts across the country to elevate practice around how we involve the public in research and how the public realizes the everyday impacts of research,” Risien said. “Like France Cordova, the director of the NSF has said, ‘science is too wonderful for it to be exclusive and too important to leave anyone out.’”

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only two universities in the nation designated as a land, sea, space and sun grant, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 31,000 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 and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

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