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 the past year.

An exciting new interdisciplinary activity emerged as the United States Army chose MIT to be the home of the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. The vice president for research and associate provost has been working with the dean of engineering to design a new research facility for this activity and to provide administrative support to the new institute.

MIT is responding very seriously to the Environmental Protection Agency consent decree. The ad hoc Committee for Environmental Health and Safety, chaired by the vice president for research and associate provost, developed a management plan to coordinate EHS practices across the Institute.  This management system was inaugurated by the Environmental Programs Office in June, 2002, and its implementation is underway.

A number of research policy issues come to the vice president for research and associate provost's office. The unfortunate events of September 11 have had an impact on university policy in several areas. In collaboration with the Office of Sponsored Programs or the Environmental Programs Office, the vice president for research and associate provost has developed MIT responses to several policy issues including select agents, conflict of interest, and export controls. The vice president's office has been working with the International Students and International Scholars Offices  to implement the new database system required by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2003.  Work with the dean for graduate students focuses on issues of policy relating to graduate student research.

The vice president for research and associate provost formed the Materials Facilities Council to gather leaders from the materials research community to engage in long-range planning of their space, renovation and facilities needs.  She co-chaired the Committee for Protection of Human Life and Infrastructure with Associate Provost Claude Canizares. A web site will be launched in September, 2002, to provide information about teaching and research activities related to the war on terrorism. The Research Practice Seminars aimed at understanding responsible conduct of research are offered twice a year. These seminars are moderated by Dr. Stephanie Bird, special assistant to the vice president for research, and bring together faculty, research staff, postdoctoral students, and graduate students to discuss topics such as mentorship, authorship, and secrecy in science.

Reports from the interdisciplinary laboratories and centers follow.

Personnel Changes

MIT's senior counsel for intellectual property, Karen Hersey, retired in April 2002. Ann Hammersla is serving in this role during the search for her replacement.  Effective June 1, 2002, Penny Rosser became the director of the International Scholars Office, replacing Dana Breese Keith. Effective July 1, 2002, Professor John N. Tsitsiklis became the co-director of the Operations Research Center, replacing Professor Cynthia Barnhart. Tom Quinn joined the vice president for research and associate provost's office staff as facilities officer in February and has handled numerous renovation and construction issues.

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


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