East Lansing’s Michigan State University was named a foundational partner of the Advancing Research and its Impact on Society Center (ARIS), which received $5.2 million from the National Science Foundation. The center is housed at the University of Missouri and is designed to bring scientific research to the masses.
“Researchers want to make a difference in the world,” says Laurie Van Egeren, interim associate provost for University Outreach and Engagement and ARIS Center co-PI. “The ARIS Center was created so that scientists have the tools and knowledge to make their research as meaningful for the public as it is for academic colleagues. MSU partners with communities to target critical issues and drive change for our state and beyond.”
The center is designed to build capacity, advance scholarship, grow partnerships, and provide resources to scientists and engagement practitioners so they can demonstrate the impact of research in their communities and society. It will also emphasize support for serving traditionally underserved populations while providing inclusive public engagement.
“Ventures such as ARIS provide excellent opportunities for MSU academics to connect with resources that can help them identify impactful ways to share their exciting discoveries with the public,” says Beronda Montgomery, ARIS board member, assistant provost of faculty and academic staff development, and MSU foundation professor in the departments of biochemistry and molecular biology, and microbiology and molecular genetics. “The consortium of partners across the U.S. also will provide a significant network to facilitate and expand local efforts at MSU.”
The center’s board of advisors includes members from higher education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of American Universities, the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education, the Council on Undergraduate Research, NASA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Other national partners and institutions include Brown University, Duke University, Iowa State University, Madison Area Technical College, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Oregon State University, Rutgers University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.