Editor's Blog: One thing is for sure, Mason's next provost will heavily promote research

Over the past couple of weeks, we've heard from four finalists for Mason's next provost who presented their visions for the future of the university. A common strand for each presentation has been a commitment to boost Mason's research credentials by altering academic programs and increasing research funding.

Editor’s Blog: Tenured professors are teaching less and researching more

Mason’s strategic plan, passed late last semester, outlined a commitment to boost research funding and incorporate more research into undergraduate programs.

Part of this transition has raised discussion about how faculty will spend their time, and finding a balance between research and teaching.

Mason plans to boost research credentials through investment, undergrad involvement

As part of its strategic plan, Mason will try to attain a “very high research activity” ranking from the Carnegie Foundation, a research center that measures the research activity of hundreds of universities. The move is part of an attempt to increase Mason’s reputation as a high-class research institution. To reach the goal, officials hope to invest heavily in research projects and to restructure academic programs to make research a more prominent component of Mason’s academic experience.

Federal budget cuts affect scientific research

Recent budget cuts have had a severe impact on scientific research conducted at Mason. The National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases and the Department of Molecular and Microbiology failed to receive a grant from the National Institute of Health in May because of the NIH’s tight budget.

At Krasnow Institute, students conduct high-profile research

The Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study is not easy to find.

Nestled away at the very edge of the Mason Fairfax campus, on a small side street off Shenandoah Lane, the institute looks indistinguishable from any other university building.

Inside, students labor over homework in the Great Room, a high-ceilinged library complete with a fireplace, and hunch over microscopes in the many labs.

Posters cover the hallway walls, displaying graphs, charts and titles like “Communication Development of Autism Spectrum Disorder Through a Behavior-Level Approach.”

Mason searching for new vice president of research and economic development

George Mason University officials are currently searching for a new vice president to lead the Office of Research and Economic Development.

There were originally around 80 candidates for the job. This week, the list was narrowed down to the five finalists.

Among those interviewing the candidates is James Olds, the director of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and chair of the search committee.

Krasnow Institute likely to play role in Obama brain initiative

On April 2, President Barack Obama proposed to Congress to invest $100 million in the BRAIN Initiative.

BRAIN, which stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, is meant to map the human brain and to create technology that can record brain electrical activity. The goal of the initiative is to find cures for brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and autism.

If approved, George Mason University’s Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study is likely to play a major role in Obama’s BRAIN Initiative.

Board of Visitors creates new committee to promote research

The Board of Visitors research committee met for the first time on Nov. 8 as an integral part of the 2014 strategic plan for George Mason University.

“This committee was established because of BOV interests in promoting research, though several Mason administrators actively cooperated. The goal certainly is to highlight the importance of research and work to expand it,” Provost Peter Stearns said  in an email.

The notes provided for the upcoming BOV meeting on Dec. 5 stated that increased research is important in building on Mason’s reputation.

Mason Arabic professor awarded 2012-2013 Fenwick Fellow grant

This August, Fenwick Library announced the 2012-2013 recipient for the Fenwick Fellow grant.

“The annual Fenwick Fellow program assists research by Mason faculty members as well as enhances the resources and capabilities for the University Libraries,” according to a press release from University Libraries. “The fellowship provides a $5,000 award for research materials and assistance, along with a fully equipped office in the Fenwick Library, to support the research project.”

Undergrad research program grows, student stipend boosted to $4,000

Program expansion for Mason opportunities for undergraduate research begins this summer, with new perks and larger stipends for students looking to develop research experience with a Mason community member with mutual interests.