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Goal 2

Goal 2

To be a global leader in scientific research and scholarship for a better world.

Scuba diver researching coral in shallow ocean

Rebecca Vega-Thurber's team studies coral reef health at the Lizard Island Research Station located on the northern Great Barrier Reef in Australia.


  1. Cultivate distinction in research by enriching and growing specific programs through investment in cross disciplinary and international collaborations.
  2. Deepen and enrich a leading-edge and responsive research portfolio by focusing early-career faculty investments in areas that advance knowledge to support human health, marine science and sustainable materials.
  3. Position the College as a leader in cross-cutting data science and mathematical modeling research and educational programs.
  4. Enhance research capacity and productivity by improving infrastructure.
  5. Promote student curiosity, discovery and creativity by integrating undergraduate research and international opportunities across the curriculum, and strengthening and expanding graduate programs to match national and market needs.


The College advances the frontiers of knowledge and delivers discoveries to enable transformative contributions to OSU’s signature areas of distinction encompassing sustainability, health and economic well-being.

The College will build on its strengths and strategic opportunities in marine, environmental, biohealth and materials sciences. Investments made in these areas will foster effective policies for resource management and enable new technologies for a smarter planet. We will help enhance human and animal health with better treatment of diseases through our fundamental research and collaborations across campus, with researchers in Oregon and around the world. This combination will provide a path toward healthy people and a sustainable planet.

The explosion of data creation is altering the landscape of science and generating new opportunities to analyze, visualize process and understand complex data sets. The College will make bold moves to transform its research and education in data sciences, leading to high quality, reproducible research, create a culture of data-enabled thinking, and engage corporate, government and academic partners to build an OSU brand in data analytics.

Oregon’s ecosystem, with its forests, mountains, deserts and marine environments, is our home and a beautiful part of our healthy planet. The College will leverage its location and global excellence to create new international partnerships and conferences, study abroad programs and opportunities for lifelong learners.

Ways we advance science

Groundbreaking research/world-class faculty. The College had a record year for research funding in 2014-15, receiving $26.7 million. NSF and NIH continue to balance constrained budgets with funding the best research; the ability of our faculty to receive million-dollar-plus grants speaks volumes.

New grants support major research projects in marine science across the College. Our biologists study new approaches to understand ecosystem changes and apply the knowledge generated to guide management of marine resources. Our mathematicians and statisticians lead studies in biology to build models that predict the effect of environmental changes on fish populations in marine-protected areas. Our microbiologists study SAR11, the most abundant component of plankton in the ocean, to discover how organic matter is oxidized to the greenhouse gas CO2.

Our $20 million NSF-funded Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry conducts curiosity-driven and use-inspired research to make environmentally friendly materials for a sustainable world.

Our Data Science Initiative integrates disciplines to increase overall impact. One team of ecologists, mathematicians, statisticians and social scientists received a $3 million grant to develop a training program to analyze and understand the effects of human activities and climate change on oceans. Faculty and students will examine large data sets in new ways to quantify uncertainty and risks to better manage ocean resources.