The University of Kentucky is the major graduate and research institution of the Commonwealth, and the major land-grant university in the state. As such, it offers substantial programs in both basic and applied research. These research efforts are the life blood of graduate education programs that prepare new researchers who will continue to expand the boundaries of human knowledge and to seek answers to pressing problems of our complex society. Applied research programs in areas such as agricultural sciences, arts and sciences, business and economics, engineering sciences, mathematical sciences and physics, medicine, and mining and minerals serve the Commonwealth and the nation by addressing critical issues influencing the quality of life and economic well-being of our citizenry.
University faculty and research staff have expertise in many areas including the basic biological, medical, physical, and social sciences; the creative arts and the humanities; and engineering. These individuals conduct research that ranges from the investigation of philosophical and ethical dilemmas raised by advances in science and technology to the practical application of basic knowledge in agriculture, energy, rehabilitation, and information retrieval, as well as in the economic development of the Appalachian region.
A significant aspect of research conducted at the University is the concern for its practical application for the betterment of society. Many of the techniques developed and ideas conceived in the laboratory and in advanced study evolve into technological developments of major significance.
Most research programs at the University are supported through federal, state and private sources. Application for such support and the fiscal administration of the monies received are overseen by the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (OSPA). Programmatic organization and administration of research is provided by the various research institutes and multi-disciplinary centers and, in the case of individual faculty projects, by the regular departmental, school, and college structures.
Postdoctoral fellowships are available in many research programs. Information concerning the terms of these fellowships is available in the individual departments. Postdoctoral fellows are required to register with the Graduate School through their departments.
Most departments have support for teaching and research assistants. The stipends vary by department. Information concerning assistantships may be obtained from the various departments. (See Fellowships and Assistantships.)
The University of Kentucky has several dynamic professional development programs for graduate students seeking academic careers. The Teaching and Academic Support Center assists faculty and graduate students in enhancing their teaching and other professional skills through a variety of innovative program offerings, as well as individual consultations and technological assistance. Contact the Coordinator of Graduate Student Activities for information.
The University of Kentucky was one of the original 17 cluster groups and was awarded an additional three-year grant under Phase II of the Preparing Future Faculty Initiative. The national Preparing Future Faculty program is a career development program targeted to graduate students planning to enter the professoriate.
When appropriate resources are available, the appropriate Chancellor or the Vice President for Research, upon the recommendation of the Dean of the Graduate School and the department affected, welcomes visiting scholars as guests of the University, and grants the privilege of auditing seminars and research courses and of conducting research. Normally there will be no charge except for laboratory expenses. Negotiations for such arrangements should be made in advance through the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.
University of Kentucky Libraries, a member of the Association of Research Libraries, is a system that includes a main library, 11 branch and associate libraries and two information centers. With a book endowment of $66 million and growing, the UK Libraries rank 28th among all U.S. public and private institutions. UK's collection consists of more than 2.9 million books, more than 28,000 periodicals, five million microfiche, and 1.1 million government publications.
The central library is the William T. Young Library, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in April 1998. It houses the social sciences, humanities, and life sciences collections. With over 361,000 square feet of space, the William T. Young Library seats 4,000 patrons, houses 1.2 million volumes, and is open 24 hours a day during the fall and spring semesters. It has one of the most advanced internal networking systems of any library in the world; there are approximately 3,600 network ports and 600 personal computers available for patrons and staff, all interconnected by a high-speed ATM network. Seventy laptop computers are available for student use in the library, as well as a large student computing lab, an audiovisual lab, and distance-learning facilities. The library provides 57 group study and conference rooms, many equipped with multimedia network capabilities, for use by students, faculty and staff.
The University of Kentucky Information Technology provides state-of-the-art computing services to all faculty, students, and staff, as well as to members of the National Computational Science Alliance, a cooperative partnership of academic, government, and industry researchers engaged in developing and deploying cutting-edge high performance computing technologies. One of the major efforts of the Alliance involves the creation of the Access Grid, a collection of high performance and high throughput resources and services that support both formal and informal intergroup communication and interaction between Alliance users. UK is one of the initial sites on the national Access Grid. The principle large-scale scientific computational facility at UK is an HP Superdome complex with:
Following benchmarking of the Superdome cluster, University of Kentucky has been ranked 8th out of 27 high performance academic computing centers in the US, and 109th out of the top 500 supercomputer sites world-wide.
The University of Kentucky is a founding member of Internet2, the national research network currently under development and has installed a 45 Mb/s Internet2 connection, which provides access to major research universities and a number of government and private laboratories around the world. Current projects by UK researchers utilizing the Superdome cluster include computational chemistry, computational biology, computational fluid dynamics, ocean modeling, particle physics, protein structure, as well as projects in agricultural science, astrophysics, engineering, mathematics, and nanotechnology, and pharmacy.
The Graduate Center for Biomedical Engineering provides multidisciplinary programs of education, research, and service in the application of engineering principles to the areas of medicine and biology. The Center brings together engineers, life scientists, and physicians to conduct original research on a variety of medical-related problems. Areas of research include cardiopulmonary mechanics and controls, neuromuscular function, musculoskeletal mechanics, rehabilitation engineering, computational neuroscience, motor control, orthopedic biomaterials, orthopedic biomechanics and electromagnetic tissue stimulation. Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Biomedical Engineering are offered. The Center is located in the Wenner-Gren Research Laboratory, which provides the framework for multidisciplinary research. Faculty and staff of the Center collaborate with investigators from other units of the University including the Departments of Physiology, Anatomy and Neurobiology, Cardiology, Medicine, Surgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, and Kinesiology and Health Promotion, as well as the Departments of Agricultural, Chemical and Materials, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering, the College of Pharmacy, and the Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems. Center faculty and staff provide opportunities and support for graduate students, medical residents, and selected undergraduates. Graduates of the program enter careers in research institutes, academia, hospitals and industry.
The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce offers an interdisciplinary master's degree which can be tailored to meet the career needs of individual students. The program is especially useful for students desiring careers in any of the non-academic fields in foreign affairs such as international banking, commerce and journalism, or service with governmental agencies or international organizations. To assure the interdisciplinary character of the degree, students may concentrate their work in a specific geographical area or focus on certain aspects of international affairs.
In addition, the Patterson School serves in an advisory capacity to Ph.D. programs in departments offering internationally-oriented doctoral degrees in various colleges on campus.
The Ph.D. program in Gerontology provides opportunities for the advanced multidisciplinary study of aging and the aged with particular emphasis on issues of health and well-being. This doctoral program is the recipient of a multi-year NIH training grant (1998-2003), coordinated through the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, a Commonwealth Center of Excellence. The Center is a nationally designated Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, a Center of Excellence in Stroke, and the site of a Geriatric Education Center. The graduate faculty includes representation from Anatomy and Neurobiology, Anthropology, Behavioral Science, Civil Engineering, Dentistry, Family Studies, Geography, Internal Medicine, Management, Neurology, Nursing, Nutrition and Food Science, Philosophy, Physiology, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology. Areas of particular expertise and emphasis include rural aging, long-term care, cognitive and sensory change, public policy, ethical issues, and the etiology and treatment of Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and other diseases prevalent among the elderly. Center facilities include 34 biomedical research laboratories, a library, conference rooms, and research and office space. Affiliated facilities for training and research include the University of Kentucky Hospital, Christian Health Center (a University-affiliated nursing home), The Breckinridge (an Alzheimer's assisted living facility), the Center for Rural Health, the Helping Hand Alzheimer's Day Care Program, University of Kentucky Geriatric Support Services, Cardinal Hill Hospital, Northeast Area Health Education Center, and the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.
The M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Nutritional Sciences provide opportunity for advanced multidisciplinary study in Nutritional Sciences. Educational opportunities exist in agricultural, biological, clinical, community, medical, social, biochemical, and molecular nutritional sciences. The graduate faculty consists of a core faculty and more than 30 jointly-appointed faculty members representing various academic units of the University including Agronomy, Animal Sciences, Anthropology, Behavioral Science, Biochemistry, Clinical Sciences, Horticulture, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Nutrition and Food Science, Oral Health Science, Pharmacy, Psychiatry, Surgery, and Toxicology. Faculty have modern research laboratory facilities for conducting cell culture, human, and animal studies using state of the art equipment. These include trace mineral, vitamin, lipid, amino acid, enzyme, hormone, cytokine, stable and radioactive isotope, microcirculatory, and energy assessment analyses. Clinical facilities for training and research include the University of Kentucky Hospital, the Veteran's Administration Hospital, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky Medical Center Outpatient Clinics, and the Markey Cancer Center. Opportunities for community-based research exist locally, throughout the state, and in international settings.
The Martin School offers three multidisciplinary degree programsthe Master of Public Administration, the Master of Health Administration, and the Ph.D. in Public Administrationand engages in research and public service activities. The disciplines represented by the School's faculty are management, finance, economics, industrial engineering, political science, and health administration. The research and public service components of the Martin School offer the School's faculty, staff, and graduate students the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research on public policy issues.
The Graduate Center for Toxicology (GCT) educates scientists at the M.S., Ph.D. and postdoctoral levels to deal with toxic substances and their effects on humans and the environment. The GCT has a core faculty based in the Health Sciences Research Building and an interdisciplinary faculty of about fifty jointly-appointed faculty members, all of whom are active in teaching and research in toxicology, drawn from the major departments and colleges on campus. The GCT has over 100 graduates among whom are numerous faculty members and government and corporate toxicologists.
Student support comes from Graduate School fellowships, minority fellowships, special fellowships, research assistantships, and NIEHS pre- and postdoctoral fellowships for Research Training in Environmental Toxicology.
Areas of research strength include environmental toxicology, immunotoxicology, molecular mechanisms of chemical carcinogenesis, molecular biology, toxicology, and neurotoxicology. Students in the GCT are organized through the Toxicology Student Forum, which is represented on all GCT committees and functions as the students' voice and representative during their time at the University of Kentucky.