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Oregon Chapter Partners with the University of Oregon

Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

ARCS Foundation Oregon  will expand its support of PhD science scholars in Oregon now that two departments at the University of Oregon have been approved by the national ARCS board. UO is the third major research institution in the state to be included in the ARCS family of approved universities.

“Adding the departments of biology and chemistry at the University of Oregon is a significant step for ARCS Oregon,” said president Aletha Anderson. “Our chapter’s goal is to support outstanding PhD students doing research in Oregon, and now our scholar awards can be distributed at Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.  The approved colleges and departments represent a wide range of science that is exciting for our members, donors and Oregon.”

UO joins 54 other research institutions already approved by ARCS national for funding by chapters across the country.

The UO College of Arts and Sciences identified the departments of biology and chemistry as two highly regarded graduate programs for ARCS National funding approval.  Research, both applied and basic, faculty recognition at the national level, translational research, interdisciplinary connections across UO departments and institutes, along with competitive external research funding and faculty dedication to doctoral student support justified the inclusion of these two departments for ARCS Oregon funding.

The UO Dept. of Biology offers expertise and research opportunities in a wide range of disciplines including neuroscience, genetics, cell and developmental biology, evolution, ecology and marine biology. Research activities are in four separate institutes:

  • The Institute of Ecology and Evolution,
  • The Institute of Molecular Biology,
  • The Institute of Neuroscience,  and
  • The Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. 

UO’s biology department is ranked 55 of 261 doctoral programs in biology, and ranked as high as 16th and 18th in areas by the National Research Council.  Recent enrollment had 77 students in the doctoral program with 33 full time faculty.

UO Dept. of Chemistry has three broad areas of research strength:

  • Molecules and materials by design, with emphasis on green/sustainable chemistry.
  • Structure and dynamics of excited states and heterogeneous systems.  Chemical systems are investigated using sophisticated spectroscopic and theoretical methods.
  • Biochemistry of life processes.

Chemistry is ranked 60 of 205 doctoral programs. Recent enrollment had 125 doctoral students with 28 full time faculty. Important grant funding sources are the Department of Health and Human Services/NIH, The Gates Foundation, National Science Foundation and Department of Energy.

Several ARCS Oregon members visited UO last spring to meet with the provost, the dean of the Graduate School and to tour several labs. During lunch with faculty and graduate students, the members heard about the research being done at UO.  Chapter members voted to add UO to our supported schools, raising the profile of ARCS Foundation and science research in Oregon.