Office of Research News

New date for the State of Research Address and Innovator of the Year Awards: March 6

Thu, 14th December, 2017

Annual State of Research Address/Innovator of the Year Awards

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

8:30 a.m.
U.S. Bank Conference Theater
Ohio Union

The annual state of research address and presentation of the 2017 Innovator of the Year awards is scheduled for March 6, 2018 (originally scheduled for February 7, 2018). Learn about the breadth, scope and excellence of Ohio State’s research programs. Be one of the first to find out who will be this year’s Innovator of the Year, Early Career Innovator of the Year and Next Generation Innovator of the Year (formerly the Student Innovator of the Year).

A reception honoring the 2017 Innovators will take place at Woody’s Tavern immediately following the announcement.

Contact Beth Haas at or 614-688-4725 with questions.

Category : Celebration of Research / Events / Featured Articles / Office of Research / State of Research address

Research integrity at Ohio State: New training requirements for research eligible personnel

Thu, 7th December, 2017

Maintaining the highest standards of integrity is a foundational element of Ohio State’s research mission and focus of its strategic vision. Accordingly, the university is embracing a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that calls on research institutions to maintain standards of conduct that go beyond compliance with federal regulations.

As noted in an email communication from Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce McPheron, Ohio State is now requiring that all research eligible faculty, staff and students involved in the design, conducting or reporting of research be trained in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). Research eligible personnel include:

  • Full, associate, assistant and emeritus professors conducting research
  • Employees with “research” in their titles (e.g., research directors, assistant directors, coordinators, managers, specialists, statisticians, aides, assistants and associates)
  • Postdoctoral fellows and researchers; graduate associates, fellows, and trainees; and undergraduate fellows and trainees.

Research eligible faculty, staff and students are required to complete the RCR training by the end of the academic year in June 2018. The course is available online through the Collaborative Institutional Training Institute (CITI). Please note that this requirement is in addition to any other RCR training that you may have taken to date.

For more information or to access the training, please see Responsible Conduct of Research.

Category : Academic Centers / Featured Articles / Industry Liasion Office / Office of Research / Office of Research Compliance / Office of Responsible Research Practices / Office of Sponsored Programs / Student Research / Units / University Laboratory Animal Resources

Moses named interim senior vice president for research

Fri, 17th November, 2017

Randy Moses, senior associate vice president for research and professor of electrical and computer engineering, will serve as interim senior vice president for research, effective January 1, 2018. A national search for a new senior vice president will be conducted. David Williams, dean of the College of Engineering and executive dean of the professional colleges, will chair the search advisory committee.

Category : Office of Research

Senior VP for Research Caroline Whitacre to Retire Dec. 31

Wed, 18th October, 2017

Caroline Whitacre

Senior Vice President for Research Caroline Whitacre

Dr. Caroline Whitacre will be retiring from the university after 36 years of service on December 31, 2017. She recently completed her second term as senior vice president for research. Dr. Whitacre joined the Ohio State faculty in the College of Medicine in 1981. She has served in a number of leadership positions, including associate VP for health sciences research and vice dean for research in the College of Medicine; director of the School of Biomedical Science; and chair of the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics. She is recognized widely for her scholarship on autoimmune disease and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. As senior VP for research, she has led planning and infrastructure support for our basic and applied research programs. She has helped lead efforts to stimulate research and discoveries that impact communities locally, nationally and globally.

Category : Byrd Polar Research Center / Industry Liasion Office / Institute for Materials Research / Office of Research / Office of Research Compliance / Office of Responsible Research Practices / Office of Sponsored Programs / Units / University Laboratory Animal Resources

New Online Risk Assessment Tool Launches November 1

Mon, 16th October, 2017

The Office of Research and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety are launching a new user-friendly web-based tool for conducting risk-based assessments – the Online Risk Assessment Tool (ORAT). The ORAT will replace the existing Occupational Health Registry on November 1, 2017.

Because it is important that you understand the potential risks associated with your research or job-related duties – especially when there are potential risks due to contact with animals, hazardous agents, operations or environments – the ORAT will walk you through the process for assessing your job-based risks. It employs a simple question and answer model that builds a personalized risk assessment designed to the specific hazards you may encounter as part of your work-related responsibilities. The ORAT also provides you with an opportunity to consult with an occupational medical professional. Expect to see faster turnaround times and enhanced customer service with the ORAT because of its streamlined approach to conducting risk assessments.

Completed assessments will be reviewed by the appropriate department (i.e., Environmental Health and Safety, Employee Health or Student Health) upon submission. You will be contacted if a medical consultation or other action, such as training or safety consultation, is recommended.

If you have completed the Occupational Health Registry in the past, you will receive a notification near your next annual renewal date prompting you to complete the ORAT. If you have never completed an assessment but need to do so, please utilize the ORAT beginning November 1. You will be able to access the ORAT at

Please send all questions or comments regarding the ORAT to

Category : Office of Research

Alfonzo named Center for RNA Biology director

Wed, 11th October, 2017

Juan Alfonzo Photo

Juan Alfonzo

Dr. Juan Alfonzo, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor, Department of Microbiology, has been named director of the Center for RNA Biology, effective October 1, 2017. Ohio State’s Center for RNA Biology houses the single largest group of RNA experts in the country – more than 200 faculty, staff, students and postdocs representing biology, medicine, agriculture, mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Dr. Alfonzo will provide the leadership and strategic direction to advance RNA life sciences research and education at Ohio State. He will build on the center’s existing strengths in RNA biology to increase extramural funding for the center, strengthen existing partnerships, encourage new collaborations through interdisciplinary initiatives and outreach and promote the training of students and postdocs. He will also work to attract and retain stellar faculty and recruit the next generation of scholars to the university.

Dr. Alfonzo is well-qualified to take on this role. He is a dedicated researcher whose work focuses on RNA processing events that are unique to trypanosomes and have the potential to be exploited as targets for the design of therapies against protozoan diseases. As a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology since 2002, Dr. Alfonzo has a successful track record of extramural funding and publications and he has mentored numerous faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students. He is a member of Ohio State’s Biochemistry Program, an interdisciplinary graduate program that trains students to investigate the biochemical bases of life and disease. Dr. Alfonzo earned his BS and PhD in microbiology from Indiana University-Bloomington.

Category : Office of Research

Oglesbee to lead Infectious Diseases Institute

Thu, 5th October, 2017

Michael Oglesbee

Oglesbee to lead IDI

Dr. Michael Oglesbee, professor of veterinary biosciences and interim director of the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), has been named permanent director of the IDI. As director, Dr. Oglesbee will create a streamlined, transparent and integrated structure for infectious diseases research at Ohio State, and help transform the university into a world leader in infectious disease research and education.

Dr. Oglesbee will provide the leadership and direction for expansion of the IDI and bring together the diverse disciplines, centers and programs that will contribute to the control of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. He will facilitate the interactions among scientists in the clinical and basic sciences and build a cohesive, robust infrastructure to support existing research strengths across campus. He will foster internal and external partnerships to enhance the research, education and outreach programs at Ohio State.

Dr. Oglesbee is well qualified for this role. He has served as interim director of the IDI since March and as the faculty lead of the Infectious Diseases Discovery Theme initiative for the last three years – a group of more than 180 renowned faculty and research team members representing 22 disciplines spanning human, animal and plant health. In addition, Dr. Oglesbee has run a successful research program focused on virus-host interactions for the past 25 years, and he is recognized as a fellow by the AAAS for distinguished contributions to our understanding of virus-heat shock protein interactions related to infection, virulence and impact on antiviral immunity. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and PhD in virology from Ohio State.

Category : Office of Research

Call for Nominations: 2017 Innovator of the Year

Tue, 3rd October, 2017

As Ohio State continues to expand its role in the commercialization of research, it is important that we create an environment that facilitates and rewards research creativity and entrepreneurship. To support and stimulate entrepreneurial activity, Caroline Whitacre, senior vice president for research, and Matt McNair, vice president, economic and corporate engagement, will be presenting three university-wide awards to Ohio State’s most successful entrepreneurs in February 2018.  Nominations are sought in the following categories: Innovator of the Year, Early Career Innovator of the Year and Next Generation Innovator of the Year (formerly the Student Innovator of the Year). One award will be given in each category.

The Innovator of the Year and Early Career Innovator of the Year awards are intended to recognize an Ohio State researcher who is working actively to promote commercialization of university intellectual property through invention disclosures filed, patents applied for and/or received, technologies licensed or spinoff companies formed. These activities support economic development in the central Ohio region, and serve to attract companies that create a base of operations within the state. The creation of separate award categories for more established researchers and for early career researchers allows cultivation of an entrepreneurial spirit among all of our investigators.

The former Student Innovator of the Year award is now the Next Generation Innovator of the Year award to reflect the inclusion of postdocs along with undergraduate and graduate students. The award is intended to recognize innovation and entrepreneurship that has contributed to the development or commercialization of a new technology. It may also recognize a trainee-initiated start-up company whose success is a result of entrepreneurial talent, creativity and energy.

We are requesting a maximum of TWO nominations from each college for each category (a total of six nominations per college). A nomination should consist of a letter from the college dean and a summary of the relevant commercialization activities from the nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume. These activities include invention disclosures, patents (applied for and/or awarded), licenses generated and companies formed.

The nominees for the Innovator or Early Career Innovator need not be faculty members, allowing for the recognition of commercialization activities by staff members as well as faculty. For the Early Career Innovator category, a candidate must be either an assistant or early associate professor (if a faculty member), or have been at Ohio State no more than 10 years (if a staff member). For the Next Generation Innovator category, nominees must be undergraduate or graduate students, or postdocs, who are currently registered or recent Ohio State graduates (within the last year).

Nominations, and questions prior to nomination, should be submitted to:

Caroline Whitacre
Senior Vice President for Research
Office of Research
208 Bricker Hall
190 North Oval Mall

Nominations must be received by December 4, 2017. They will be reviewed by a committee composed of individuals both internal and external to the university.

The awards for Innovator of the Year, Early Career Innovator of the Year, and Next Generation Innovator of the Year will be presented as part of the State of Research address on February 7, 2018, at the U.S. Bank Conference Theater in the Ohio Union.

2017 Innovator Call for Nominations

Category : Celebration of Research / Office of Research

Ringel promoted to associate vice president for research

Mon, 2nd October, 2017

Steven Ringel

Ringel promoted to AVP

Steven A. Ringel, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for Materials Research (IMR) and Neal A. Smith Chair of Electrical Engineering, has been promoted to Associate Vice President for Research and Executive Director of the IMR. Since its inception in 2006, Dr. Ringel has provided the leadership and long-term vision for the IMR, helping to break down barriers and create an interdisciplinary materials-allied research program this is acclaimed both nationally and internationally.

Under Dr. Ringel’s leadership, the IMR has grown to include more than 230 faculty members across 22 academic departments and six colleges, and has established several world-class research facilities at the West Campus Research Park. The IMR is leading the efforts of the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) Discovery Themes initiative, which is transforming our research ecosystem in advanced materials to include innovation and industry impact that will enable Ohio State’s pre-eminence in developing and deploying advanced technologies, materials and manufacturing for sustainability.

Ohio State is consistently ranked within the top few universities nationally in materials research funding. Under the IMR’s umbrella, the university has been awarded many competitive, prestigious research centers, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), an NSF Nanoscience and Engineering Center (NSEC) and a Department of Energy (DoE) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). The university’s industry partnership portfolio in materials has expanded significantly to include university-industry translational programs ranging from manufacturing to clean energy to future electronics. Ohio State is now leading major partnerships with multiple global research and manufacturing entities, and is a key player in five separate National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) centers. As a result, the university has become a primary site for some of the most prestigious international conferences in the field.

Dr. Ringel has helped develop strategic relationships with industrial, academic and government sectors that has yielded materials innovations and technology advancement in energy, manufacturing, electronics, mobility, health and more. He has played a leading role in several economic development initiatives that have attracted international R&D and manufacturing operations to Columbus. And he catalyzed the creation of the Materials Innovation Laboratory (MIL), which is built on an operational model that fosters interaction and collaboration with industry to maximize innovation and commercialization.

Category : Office of Research

New PI Portal to launch October 2

Tue, 19th September, 2017

On Monday, October 2, 2017, the Office of Research will launch a redesigned PI Portal. Improvements to the PI Portal are based on feedback from portal users from across the university. The new PI Portal features a robust search engine and a responsive and intuitive design, making it easier to view project-related financial information.

In the new PI Portal:

  • The “Home Page” presents a simplified and summarized view of information relevant to you and your role within the university.
  • The “Search” feature allows you to search by project number, title, department or investigator. You can also use keywords to narrow your search further.
  • The “Project Details View” allows you to see project details that include a financial overview, demographics, expenditures, commitments and award documents.
  • The “Line Item Rollup” enables you to create a report consisting of budget and expense information rolled up from selected projects.

Beginning October 2, you will automatically be directed to the new PI Portal when you use your existing links/bookmarks. You can also access the new PI Portal at or click on “PI Portal” listed under eTools on the Office of Sponsored Programs website. To ease the transition, access to the current PI Portal will remain until December 31, 2017, accessible through a link at the top of the new PI Portal. However, we encourage you to explore and begin using the new PI Portal right away.

A variety of training resources are available to help you transition to using the new PI Portal. An online user guide is available in the OR Help Desk knowledge base ( In-person training is also available at many locations across campus. Visit to see the list of available dates and times and to sign up for a training session.

We would like to hear from you to help us make the PI Portal an even better tool. After the October 2nd launch, you will be able to provide feedback via the “Give Us Feedback” button in the lower right corner of the new PI Portal.

If you have questions or encounter any problems, contact the OR Help Desk at or 614-688-8288.

Category : Featured Articles / Office of Research / Office of Sponsored Programs