The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Missouri a $5.2 million grant to establish the Advancing Research and its Impact on Society center, or ARIS center.
NSF spokesperson Rob Margetta said the intent of funding the ARIS center is to advance public knowledge of scientific research in order to create a well-informed citizenry and to keep the U.S. at the top of the worldwide innovation chain. The foundation funds projects that reach beyond the institution into the local communities and advances development in science, technology, engineering and math.
“There has to be some kind of outreach or education component to them,” said Margetta, “So this award is trying to make sure that we really do learn more from these broader impacts.”
To advance the practice of translating scientific research, the center will utilize community engagement to help the public better understand the results and impact of scientific development. Leading the ARIS center project is Dr. Susan Renoe, assistant vice chancellor for research, extension and engagement at MU.
“Research that is being done at the University of Missouri is impacting the lives Missourians and people around the world every day,” said Renoe “We don’t always do a good job of communicating that.”
Renoe said the multimillion dollar grant aims to help scientists shine light on their work, as well as aid the community in recognizing the implications of this research on their daily lives.
NSF evaluates financing proposals based on two criteria; intellectual merit and broader impact. The ARIS center at MU will help centralize information from researchers and analyze its impact for the public to provide an educated public.