Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Oregon State U gets $438,000 NSF grant to study entrepreneurship as tenure criterion

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 30th, 2019

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Oregon State University (OSU) a $438,000 grant to study ways in which universities can incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship into faculty promotion and tenure.

The grant will fund a survey of more than 200 colleges and universities, as well as a national summit that is expected to draw around 300 academic executives to Washington, DC, in September 2020.

According to Rich Carter, a chemistry professor who serves as faculty lead for innovation excellence at OSU, university faculty have historically focused more on fundamental research during their early career, waiting until after they receive tenure to shift toward more market-focused research.

“This approach forces people to have to pivot their research when they’ve already got all of their momentum pointed in another direction,” says Carter. “I’m always surprised when people say faculty should wait until they have tenure to think about research that has market impact.”

Carter sees the NSF-funded effort as a chance for universities across the country to rethink the role of market-driven research, which can lead to technologies that have real-world impact, create jobs, and contribute to the U.S. economy.

“This grant has the potential to cause a fundamental shift in how faculty are incentivized and rewarded for their research endeavors,” he says. “It has the chance to create a seismic shift for what sort of research is focused on, to incentivize researchers to think about the societal impact of their work.”

Source: The World

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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