Iowa State University is part of a new collaborative center to demonstrate the societal impacts of research

By Office of the Vice President for Research

Iowa State University is a partner in the collaborative and innovative Center for Advancing the Societal Impacts of Research. Called the ARIS Center, this effort is housed at the University of Missouri and is funded by a $5.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The ARIS Center will work with scientists and engagement practitioners to build capacity, advance scholarship, grow partnerships and provide resources to help them engage with and demonstrate the impact of research in their communities and society.

“The ARIS Center, the first of its kind in the United States, brings together institutions and individuals who are dedicated to impacting communities and society through research and engagement,” said Diane Rover, Iowa State University Professor of electrical and computer engineering and a co-principal investigator on the ARIS Center project. “Being part of the center showcases Iowa State’s excellence in its mission as a land-grant institution and affirms everyone’s work on campus to connect and communicate our research to broader audiences and for greater purposes.”

Iowa State’s partnership in the center stems from the university’s development of and involvement in the NSF-funded Strengthening the Professoriate @ ISU (SP@ISU) and the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) programs. Because of Iowa State’s nationally recognized work through these programs, university representatives will participate in the center’s leadership and management team and also will help coordinate training and professional development activities for researchers, broader impacts professionals and other institutional stakeholders. Rover will bring her extensive research knowledge and work in the area of broader impacts. Megan Heitmann, former program manager for SP&ISU, will offer her knowledge and experitise in broader impacts training and institutional support. Craig Ogilvie, assistant dean in the Graduate College and Morrill Professor in the department of physics and astronomy, will serve on the center’s advisory board.

The center’s work will benefit researchers who are responsible for driving discovery; practitioners who collaborate with researchers and community stakeholders; and the public who benefit from research and education advancements. The ARIS Center will emphasize support for serving traditionally under-served populations while providing inclusive public engagement to ensure a diverse science workforce.

In addition to Iowa State, national partners and institutions for the ARIS Center include Brown University, Duke University, Madison Area Technical College, Michigan State University, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Oregon State University, Rutgers University and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Board of Advisors for the new center includes members from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of American Universities, California State-Monterey Bay, the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education, the Council on Undergraduate Research, the Kavli Foundation, NASA, Northern Illinois University, the Rathenau Institute (Netherlands), Spelman College, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Western Washington University and York University (Canada) among others.