Research Centers and Institutes

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The university’s interdisciplinary institutes and centers provide opportunities for graduate training and research. Members hold faculty positions in related academic departments. Students who want to work in one of the institutes as part of thesis or dissertation research must satisfy the graduate degree requirements of the related department through which they earn their degree.

Students who want to work in any of these fields may obtain information about the programs and financial aid from institute and center directors as well as online:

Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon

David C. Johnson, Director


The Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon (CAMCOR) is a user facility housing a comprehensive array of materials characterization instrumentation and expertise to serve the needs of researchers on the University of Oregon campus, regional industries, and academic institutions. The facilities provide infrastructure for research in chemistry, nanoscience, engineering, physics, materials science, geology bioscience, and optics.

Center for High Energy Physics

James E. Brau, Director


The Center for High Energy Physics (CHEP) enhances the physics research activities at Oregon by sponsoring seminars on topics in high-energy physics, hosting visiting scientists, supporting graduate student research, aiding interaction between experimental activities and theoretical investigations of Oregon scientists, and fostering communication of research to the broader community.

Center for Latino and Latin American Studies

Lynn Stephens, Director


The Center for Latino and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) provides an interdisciplinary platform to facilitate collaborative research, scholarship, and community outreach efforts focused on Latin America and U.S. Latino populations.

Center for the Study of Women in Society

Carol Stabile, Director


This multidisciplinary research center generates, supports, and disseminates research on gender and all aspects of women’s lives. A member of the National Council for Research on Women, the center is one of ninety-five women’s research and policy facilities in the United States and among 300 such centers in more than eighty countries.

Center on Human Development

Jane Squires, Director


Housed within the College of Education, the Center on Human Development (CHD) conducts research, technical assistance, interdisciplinary training, and community services activities focused on individuals with disabilities, and individuals who are at risk for disabilities, from birth through adulthood. The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities performs management and coordination functions for CHD, and together they conduct research, services, and training to improve the quality of life for all persons with developmental disabilities and their families.

Child and Family Center

Elizabeth A. Stormshak, Director


The Child and Family Center staff is dedicated to understanding and promoting mental health and resilience within families in all cultural communities. The institute conducts research on social-emotional development from infancy through adolescence and provides innovative assessment, prevention, and intervention services for children and families.

Community Service Center

Robert G. Parker and Megan E. Smith, Codirectors


The Community Service Center (CSC) is an interdisciplinary organization that assists Oregon communities by providing planning and technical assistance to help solve local issues and improve the quality of life for residents of the state. The center’s role is to link the skills, expertise, and innovation of higher education with the economic development and environmental needs of communities and regions in the state of Oregon, providing service to the state and learning opportunities to students.

Computational Science Institute

John S. Conery, Director


Computational science is a multidisciplinary field that combines research in the physical sciences with work in applied mathematics and computer science. Several faculty members and graduate students at the Computational Science Institute (CSI) are involved in computational science–related projects such as bioinformatics, parallel computing, and software tools for the field.

Institute for a Sustainable Environment

Cassandra Moseley, Director


The Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) performs funded research projects related to regional analysis for managing landscape change due to population growth, climate change, economic change, and policy change. The institute also undertakes consulting projects and investigations related to these problems, helping governments and corporations adapt their policies and practices to better cope with rapidly evolving sustainability issues and challenges.

Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences

Frances J. White, Director


The Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences (ICDS) is dedicated to exploring the workings of the mind and brain and how they affect human behavior and social interaction. Its goals are to advance the empirical study and theoretical understanding of cognition, culture, and communication from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Institute of Ecology and Evolution

Brendan Bohannan, Director


The Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IE2), established in 2002 as the Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, promotes and facilitates research and graduate education in ecology and evolutionary biology. The institute encourages scientific interactions among its members and between members and the wider academic community.

Institute of Molecular Biology

Eric Johnson, Director


The University of Oregon offers a wide variety of research and training opportunities in contemporary molecular, structural, cellular, and developmental biology. The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) fosters research and training in contemporary biology at the molecular level by bringing scientists from biology, chemistry, and physics into a common intellectual and physical space.

Institute of Neuroscience

Shawn Lockery, Director


The Institute of Neuroscience (ION) is an interdisciplinary research group of scientists, with faculty members and students drawn from the Departments of Biology, Human Physiology, and Psychology Its laboratories offer graduate and postdoctoral training in the neurosciences with projects that address the development of the nervous system and human cognitive processes.

Institute of Theoretical Science

Dietrich Belitz, Director


The Institute of Theoretical Science (ITS) is a center for research in several interrelated disciplines that encompass mathematics, theoretical chemistry, and theoretical physics. Research interests of the institute’s members include particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology, gravitational physics, condensed matter physics and statistical mechanics, group representation theory, geometric analysis, atomic physics, nonlinear dynamics, optical physics, biophysics, and the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior

Jeffrey R. Sprague and Hill M. Walker, Codirectors


The Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior (IVDB) aids schools and social service agencies in addressing violence and destructive behavior, at the point of school entry and beyond, to ensure safety and facilitate the academic achievement and healthy social development of children and youth. Institute personnel study the conditions, developmental processes, and risk-protective factors related to the prevention of violence, school failure, delinquency, and other destructive outcomes among at-risk children and adolescents.

Lewis Center for Neuroimaging

Jolinda Smith, Interim Director


The Robert and Beverly Lewis Center for Neuroimaging (LCNI), a component of the Brain, Biology, and Machine Initiative at the University of Oregon, supports interdisciplinary research in cognitive neuroscience and biological imaging. LCNI has a Siemens Allegra 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit and full capabilities for the design and fabrication of magnetic resonance coils to support a broad range of research needs and applications.

Materials Science Institute

Richard P. Taylor, Director


The purpose of the Materials Science Institute (MSI) is to study the structure and properties of materials, to educate in the sciences of materials, and to serve Oregon as a resource in these sciences. Since 1985, the institute has more than tripled the size of its research program, developed four new graduate programs in materials, and contributed to the state’s prosperity through collaboration with more than twenty-five Oregon companies.

Industrial Internships for Master’s Degrees in Chemistry or Physics

The Materials Science Institute sponsors internship programs in photovoltaic and semiconductor devie processing; organic synthesis and organometallics; polymers and coatings; and optical materials and devices. These programs offer interdisciplinary training at the physics-chemistry interface and are designed to make students more effective problem-solvers in the industrial environment. Students begin the program during summer session with three to four graded 4-credit courses. Students who successfully complete these courses interview for internships with local and regional industries. Students selected by these companies complete a nine-month internship with salaries ranging from $2,000 to $5,400 a month. Participants have typically moved quickly into permanent employment during or after the internship. Students remain enrolled at the university throughout the program. They meet regularly with faculty advisors and report on their internship experience. Students can earn a master of science degree in chemistry or physics by completing an additional 12 graduate credits of course work at Oregon or at a college or university close to their internship location.

Neuroinformatics Center

Allen D. Malony, Director


The Neuroinformatics Center (NIC) researches the application of computer science and numerical computation to problems with brain modeling and imaging. High-performance computing plays a significant role in the research at the center, which is part of the University of Oregon’s Brain, Biology, and Machine Initiative.

Northwest Indian Language Institute

Janne Underriner, Director


The Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI) provides teachers, community members, and UO students with training in the teaching of Native American languages and linguistics. With tribal partners, NILI supports and strengthens language preservation and restoration efforts by establishing collaborative projects that meet the specific needs and desires of each language community.

Oregon Center for Optics

Miriam Deutsch, Director


The Oregon Center for Optics (OCO) encompasses research in basic and applied aspects of optics in physics and physical chemistry. Members of the center are instructors in physics and chemistry; associate members are from these departments as well as from institutions outside the university; students—undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral—are involved in all aspects of research at OCO.

Oregon Humanities Center

Paul W. Peppis, Interim Director


The Oregon Humanities Center (OHC) is the sole interdisciplinary umbrella organization for the humanities at the University of Oregon. It seeks to promote and strengthen the humanities both on campus and in the broader community by supporting faculty research and teaching, fostering collaboration among the disciplines, and sponsoring a wide variety of public programs.

Oregon Institute of Marine Biology

Craig M. Young, Director


Founded in 1930, the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) is the third-oldest marine laboratory on the Pacific Coast. The 130-acre campus, located about two hours from Eugene, maintains housing and research facilities for visiting investigators and students from other institutions. Members of the resident faculty are from the UO Department of Biology, conducting research on the development, ecology, evolution, and physiology of marine organisms worldwide from the intertidal zone to the deep sea.

Solar Energy Center

Frank Vignola, Director


The Solar Energy Center’s goal is to build and strengthen the infrastructure necessary for the planning, design, and operation of solar energy technologies, ranging from heating water, "daylighting" (increasing the energy efficiency of a building by maximizing the amount of daylight versus electric light), heating and cooling buildings, and generating electricity. The work of the center includes the development of new designs and the training of future designers and planners in sustainable, energy-efficient buildings; development of a regional solar radiation database along with the tools to aid in appropriate design and operation of solar systems; testing of photovoltaic technologies from cells to systems; and studying the legal, economic, and technical problems accompanying solar energy development in this region.

Transgenic Mouse Facility


The goal of the Transgenic Mouse Facility is to provide all the services necessary to produce and maintain genetically modified mice. These services range from designing projects to maintaining colonies.