Vice President for Research and Associate Provost

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Associate Provost serves the MIT community by providing opportunities for interdisciplinary research, supporting interdisciplinary laboratories, centers and projects, and through oversight of research policy issues. The office has been involved in a number of activities in 2002–2003.

The past year has seen an increasing involvement in research policy issues. In collaboration with the Office of Sponsored Programs, the vice president for government relations, and the International Students and Scholars offices, we have developed MIT's responses to several policy issues, including openness in research and immigration policies. Work with the dean for graduate students focuses on policy issues relating to graduate student research.

An exciting interdisciplinary activity, the Computational and Systems Biology Initiative (CSBi), has launched an extensive research program, and in January started an excellent annual conference in systems biology. This initiative brings together dozens of faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars, and research staff from disparate areas of campus to provide a systematic analysis and computational approach to complex problems in biology. More information on CSBi can be found online at

This past year we designed and built a new facility for the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN). This facility was opened in an Army ribbon-cutting ceremony in May. The ISN is well on its way to developing new science and technology to support soldiers with approximately 100 faculty, students, research scientists and collaborators. More information is available online at

The vice president for research works with the Materials Facilities Council to engage in strategic planning of space, renovation, and facilities needs. This year, the provost and the chair of the Faculty launched a Research Policy Committee to work with the vice president for research to address policy issues regarding research contracts and grants facing MIT.

Reports from the interdisciplinary laboratories and centers follow.

Alice P. Gast
Vice President for Research and Associate Provost
Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering


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