Research at the University of Kentucky

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 which 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, mining and minerals, engineering sciences, medicine, arts and sciences, business and economics, mathematical sciences and physics, and tobacco and health 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 especially in the basic biological, physical, medical and social sciences, in engineering and in the creative arts and the humanities. These individuals conduct research which 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.

Visiting Scholars and Advanced Study

When appropriate resources are available at the time desired, the appropriate Chancellor or the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, 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 in laboratories and libraries. Normally there will be no charge except for laboratory expenses. Negotiations for such arrangements should be made in advance through the office of the Graduate Dean.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Postdoctoral fellowships are available in various research departments. Information concerning the terms of the fellowships is available in the department. Postdoctoral fellows are required to register with The Graduate School through their departments.

Research and Teaching Assistantships

Most departments have support for teaching and research assistants. The stipends vary with the departments. Information concerning assistantships may be obtained from the various departments.  See also Fellowships and Assistantships.

Graduate and Professional Student Association

The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) was formed in the spring of 1969 to provide a permanent channel for communication between the administration and the graduate and professional students.

University of Kentucky Libraries

The University of Kentucky Library, one of the nation's top research libraries, contains over 2.5 million volumes, 5 million microform units, and 21,500 linear feet of manuscripts. The collection also includes 225,000 maps, 28,500 music records, and 600,000 pictures, tapes and miscellaneous items. The Library currently subscribes to over 27,000 periodicals including foreign, domestic, and Kentucky newspapers and government documents.

Strong emphasis is placed on the development of a high-quality collection responsive to the teaching and research needs of the University. The obligation to secure resources for the future needs of the academic community is also recognized. The collection is particularly strong in bibliography, history, coal, science and technology, agriculture, law, literature, and languages. Branch libraries housing special collections include agriculture, biological science, chemistry and physics, law, architecture, geology, engineering, mathematical sciences, art, education, medicine, and music.

The Library is responsible for locating and obtaining for its scholars needed research materials not available in its collection. These materials are borrowed from other research libraries through inter-library loan and may be acquired from a variety of document delivery services. The Library is a member of the Center for Research Libraries, a rich repository of scholarly research materials. Other services include reference, government documents, on-line computerized literature searching, microcomputer labs in King Library and at numerous other campus locations, individualized instruction in library use, academic information and referral, and replication of materials in both microform and hard copy.

Information booklets and guides to the Library and its resources are available at the King Library Circulation Desk, in the Reference Department and at the individual branch libraries.

Computing Services

The University of Kentucky Computing Center offers University-wide computing services in support of all UK faculty, students, and staff. At present, the facilities include a Convex Exemplar SP1000 scalable parallel computer with 32 nodes, a Convex/HP Metasystem parallel cluster with eight nodes, and an IBM 9672 supercomputer. These systems provide large-scale, numerically-intensive computing support for research computing. In addition, there are several communications options available for electronic mail and access to Internet resources. The University provides extensive computing resources for students in the public access computing laboratories. There are currently over 1000 computers available in the labs ranging from Windows 95 and Macintosh systems, to NeXTs and Unix workstations. Many of the student laboratories have specialized features for particular disciplines, e.g., a CAD lab in the College of Architecture, a Unix workstation lab in the College of Engineering, and access to Lexis and WestLaw in the College of Law. A wide array of general- and special-purpose software is available for both the large central systems and the laboratory computers. In addition, many classes are offered to help students and others become familiar with the labs, the software, and such common applications as electronic mail. Consultants are on duty in all of the student laboratories and at the Information Systems Help Desk in McVey Hall. Most facilities and services are available at no charge to University students, faculty and staff.

Multidisciplinary Graduate Programs

Graduate Center for Biomedical Engineering

The Center for Biomedical Engineering provides facilities and personnel for the support of graduate education and research concerned with the applications of engineering principles and practices to the solutions of problems in medicine and biology. The Center offers degrees in biomedical engineering at the master's and doctoral levels. The interdisciplinary research programs include the areas of signal and image processing, controls, biofluid dynamics, pulmonary mechanics, musculoskeletal mechanics, biomaterials and tissue response to stimulation. These research areas find application to problems in rehabilitation and sports medicine, industrial and highway safety, artificial organ design, tissue regeneration, wound healing and biomedical instrumentation as well as to improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

The Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce

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 in foreign affairs. 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.

Graduate Program in Gerontology

The Ph.D. program in Gerontology provides opportunity for advanced multidisciplinary study of aging and the aged with particular emphasis on issues of health and well-being. The program is 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, Management, Neurology, Nursing, Nutrition and Food Science, Pharmacy, 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 14 biomedical research laboratories, a library, conference rooms and research and office space. With support from federal sources, an expansion of the building is currently in process. Affiliated facilities for training and research include the University of Kentucky Hospital, Christian Health Center (a University-affiliated nursing home), 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.

Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences

The Ph.D. program in Nutritional Sciences provides opportunity for advanced multidisciplinary study in Nutritional Sciences. Educational opportunities exist in agricultural, biological, clinical, community, medical, social and basic nutritional sciences. The graduate faculty consists of more than twenty faculty members representing various academic units of the University including Animal Sciences, Anthropology, Behavioral Science, Clinical Sciences, Medicine, Neurology, Nutrition and Food Science, Oral Health Science, Psychiatry, and Toxicology. Faculty have basic 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, 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.

James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

The Martin School offers three multidisciplinary degree programs - the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Health Administration and the Ph.D. in Public Administration - and engages in research and public service activities through the Institute of Government. The disciplines represented by the School's faculty are management, finance, economics, 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.

Graduate Center for Toxicology

The Graduate Center for Toxicology (GCT) educates scientists at the M.S., Ph.D. and postdoctoral level 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 the 1988 Burroughs Welcome Scholar in Toxicology and numerous faculty members, government and corporate toxicologists.

The GCT is committed to cultural diversity and has an active minority program. Student support comes from Graduate School Fellowships, minority fellowships, special fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships and NIEHS pre- and postdoctoral fellowships for Research Training in Environmental Toxicology.

Areas of research strength include environmental toxicology, immunotoxicology, molecular mechanisms of toxicology, molecular biology and toxicology, along with a developing program in risk assessment. 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.

For further information on the Graduate Center for Toxicology, contact the Director at (606) 257-3760 or fax 606-323-1059.

Research Centers, Institutes and Support Units

Appalachian Center

The Appalachian Center coordinates and supports research, instruction, extended service, and archival activities relating to the Appalachian region. It administers interdisciplinary research programs such as the library's Appalachian Collection. It provides assistance and a focal point for graduate students from a range of disciplines who are interested in the study of the Appalachian region.

Students interested in graduate study with an emphasis in the Appalachian region may contact the Director of the Center.

Sanders-Brown Center on Aging

The Sanders-Brown Center on Aging is a multidisciplinary center for gerontological teaching, research, and service, dedicated to improving the quality of life for older adults. The Center is responsible for coordinating and integrating research, education and service programs in aging throughout the University of Kentucky. It administers interdisciplinary research programs, coordinates the offering of gerontology courses, and assists in the training of graduate students. Over 150 faculty and staff from many areas and disciplines of the University are involved in programs of the Center. See the Ph.D. program in Gerontology.

Students interested in graduate study with an emphasis in gerontology may work toward the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology awarded by the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. The certificate requires 15 graduate credit hours in an approved, multidisciplinary curriculum in gerontology and completion of graduate degree requirements in a major academic discipline. For further information on the Graduate Certificate in Gerontology contact the Certificate Director, Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

Center for Business and Economic Research

The Center for Business and Economic Research provides a focal point for research in the College of Business and Economics. It provides information and staff support for research projects, assists faculty in efforts to secure external funding for research, and coordinates multidisciplinary team approaches to research. The Center also monitors and analyzes the economy of Kentucky and provides professional staff support for the Governor's Financial Policy Council.

Lucille Parker Markey Cancer Center

The Markey Cancer Center is a multidisciplinary center for research, patient care, education and community outreach.

Research activities are broadly represented through four program areas: tumor immunology, molecular genetics, membrane studies and developmental therapeutics. The Center supports core research facilities for flow cytometry, macromolecular structure, electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, hybridoma production, and transgenic mouse construction. These activities, together with a wide range of individual investigator initiated projects, are supported by a combination of funding sources, including research grants from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and other extramural funding agencies. The Center also has available additional resources in all areas relevant to cancer problems.

Center for Computational Sciences

The Center for Computational Sciences is a center for research and education with primary emphasis on developing and using computer models to analyze chemical, physical, and biological systems. Faculty from Mathematics, Computer Science, Statistics, Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and other departments use a multidisciplinary approach to study such systems, util-izing the full range of computational resources - micro, mini, mainframe, and supercomputers. This includes algorithm development and evaluation for vector and parallel, as well as for scalar machines. Courses in applied mathematics, numerical analysis, and computer modeling are available for students interested in this approach to analyzing and understanding these systems.

Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center

The Gluck Equine Research Center is part of the Department of Veterinary Science. Research in the Center is supported, in part, by an endowment established by the University of Kentucky Equine Research Foundation. The Center provides state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for the study of a wide variety of diseases of the horse. Research in the areas of infectious diseases, reproductive physiology, parasitology, pharmacology, immunogenetics, growth and development, lameness, pathology, blood typing, and forensic pharmacology are conducted within the 69,505 square foot building located in front of Commonwealth Stadium.

The Gluck Center offers postgraduate and postdoctoral training in a variety of disciplines. The Center is well-positioned in one of the most concentrated horse breeding areas in the world. Both basic biomedical and problem-oriented research are included in the Center's program.

Center of Membrane Sciences

The Center of Membrane Sciences affords a unique approach to promote multidisciplinary research and education in both natural biological membranes and artificial synthetic membranes. UK faculty from the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Physiology and Biophysics, Nutrition and Food Sciences, Ophthalmology, Animal Sciences, Materials Science and Psychology are active in the programs of the Center. This collaboration between experts in biological membranes with experts in synthetic membranes constitutes the major strength of the Center and it puts the University and the Commonwealth at the forefront of this vital area of science and technology. No other such Center of Membrane Sciences exist in the United States. The science of membranes encompasses broad areas: (a) the structure and chemistry of biological membranes and their constituents, transport processes, and information transfer (transmembrane signaling) in living systems; (b) the synthesis, structure, and chemistry of synthetic membranes; separation of solutes ranging in size from smaller molecules and ions to large proteins by reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration with biotechnology and pharmaceutical applications; separation of gaseous mixtures by synthetic membranes; (c) separation of organic and biomolecules by synthetic membranes containing chemical and biofunctional groups. Opportunities are available for graduate students in each of the above-listed disciplines as well as in agriculture, allied health, medicine, dentistry, and other areas.

Center for Pharmaceutical Science and Technology

The Center for Pharmaceutical Science and Technology (CPST) offers an institutional framework for multidisciplinary research in the pharmaceutical sciences principally through collaboration with the industry. By providing a focus for efforts already underway at the University, the Center assists established and emerging pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology firms engaged in the development, production and marketing of drug products for human and animal health care. The Center's mission is to enrich academic programs, promote technology transfer, conduct specialized educational and training programs relating to pharmaceutical technologies and enhance economic development in the Commonwealth.

Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems

The Center for Robotics and Manufacturing Systems is dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing through education, research, and technology transfer. The Center supports active programs in the areas of manufacturing processes, engineered materials and processes, automation systems, and integrated manufacturing systems.

State-of-the-art laboratories are utilized by faculty, staff and students to develop processes for new materials, modeling and simulation, and automation and systems integration. Major areas of research include aspects of metal cutting such as control of machining chatter, methods and theory of chip formation and control, finite element modeling of the machining process, and metrology. The monitoring and control of machine systems also is an important area. Current research also encompasses activities on methodologies for modeling, sensing, and control. Intelligent systems, communication networks particularly adapted to manufacturing systems, and improved distributed computer architectures are being studied. In addition, non-traditional processes such as abrasive waterjet, stereolithography, electrodischarge compaction of powdered metal, and injection molding are addressed.

Technology transfer activities help manufacturing companies keep pace with the increasing globalization of the world. Specialized areas of assistance offered by the CRMS engineering and technical staff include computer-aided technologies, electronic assembly, and rapid prototyping. Technology advancements are disseminated to manufacturers by presentations, seminars, workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions, as well as through one-on-one industrial extension activities.

Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute

The Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute (IHDI) is a research, training, service and technical assistance program working at local, state, regional, national and international levels to improve services to persons with disabilities and their families. These activities are developed in cooperation with a broad range of both University of Kentucky units and public or private organizations and agencies. These cooperative relationships include education, social services, medicine, allied health, rehabilitation and other related disciplines. Its activities include life span involvements with programs ranging from prevention of disabilities to aging and gerontology. It is a member of the American Association of University Affiliated Programs (AAUAP).

Kentucky Geological Survey

The Kentucky Geological Survey is the official geologic research organization for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. KGS performs basic and applied research related to Kentucky's geology and mineral resources, including coal, oil, gas, industrial and metallic minerals, and water resources. Research results are available to the public through published and open-file maps and reports, distributed by the Survey. Cooperative projects with the U.S. Geological Survey have made Kentucky the best mapped state in the nation; a continuing revision program is designed to maintain up-to-date maps for the entire State.

Public service and education are vital parts of KGS activities. Thousands of requests for information about Kentucky's geology and water and mineral resources are received annually from industry, government agencies, academicians, students, and private citizens. The Survey provides technical advice to a large number of State, Federal, local, and regional agencies. Members of the staff are involved in working with special committees and public-service groups, as well as teaching short courses, advising students, and giving talks to civic and school groups. The Survey is the official repository for oil and gas well records, drill cutting and core samples, and ground-water data for all wells drilled in Kentucky. This information is available for use by industry, other researchers, and the public.

Kentucky Transportation Center

The Kentucky Transportation Center serves as the focal point in the state for interdisciplinary research in transportation. In addition to its Transportation Research Program, the Center operates a Technology Transfer Program and provides technical assistance and training to road and street departments throughout the Commonwealth. The Center works closely with various governmental agencies and conducts research supported by a variety of sources, including private industry.

Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute

The Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI) stimulates and supports water resources research and education by identifying current and emerging water resources issues for Kentucky and the nation. Faculty at all the universities and colleges in Kentucky are encouraged to participate in the Institute's programs.

Programs of the Institute include the Environmental System Program, a certification program that offers a multi-disciplinary perspective of the environmental issues; the Environmental Protection Scholarship Program, which supports both undergraduate and graduate students with full scholarships in exchange for employment with the state upon graduation; and the Federal Facilities Oversight Unit, which assists the state Division of Waste Management with environmental oversight of federal facilities located in Kentucky. The Water Resources Research Program supports faculty members, research staff and graduate students in a broad spectrum of research topics. The Institute's technology transfer program includes short courses, seminars and conferences, and the distribution of research results.

Tobacco and Health Research Institute

The Tobacco and Health Research Institute has a dual research emphasis in health and plant studies. The original areas of research developed at the Institute were cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurobiology, plant modification and molecular/cellular genetics. Recently the Kentucky Tobacco Research Board has requested a change in research emphasis. The Institute is now increasing the portion of its research in the fields of plant molecular genetics to examine the development of new tobacco plants for entirely new applications.

Statistics Consulting Laboratories

The Department of Statistics operates two consulting laboratories: the Statistics Consulting Laboratory for the main campus and the Biostatistics Consulting Unit for the Medical Center campus. These laboratories provide advice to faculty and graduate students on proper study designs for projects involving quantitative data as well as on appropriate strategies for analyzing the data emanating from such projects. Laboratory services cover the entire range of applied statistical methodology including biostatistics, epidemiology and survey sampling. Statistical programming support for projects is also available on a fee for services rendered basis. The staff occasionally offers short courses on specialized topics.

Survey Research Center

The Survey Research Center designs, coordinates, and conducts survey research activities for the University and public agencies and assists faculty and students with survey research projects. The Center's services range from research design and questionnaire development through data analysis and report writing.

The Center conducts national, statewide, and local telephone and mail surveys, and face-to-face interviews. It conducts the Kentucky Survey, which probes the opinions and attitudes of Kentuckians, and the Kentucky Health Survey, which addresses a wide range of health issues. Data from these surveys and other Center projects are available for faculty and graduate student research.

Technology Applications Center

The Technology Applications Center is a public service technology transfer program. The purpose of the program is to enhance economic development and service delivery in Kentucky by providing problem-solving information and assistance to local and state government agencies, businesses, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations. Through its capability to access more than 1,500 databases and in its role as the principal local gateway to more than 500 Federal research and development laboratories, TAC retrieves information for practical solutions to user's technical and economic questions. TAC's resources provide the most comprehensive and diversified information source for applied problem-solving available within the Commonwealth.

Inter-University Affiliations

Southeastern Universities Research Association

The Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) is a consortium of forty-one universities in 13 southeastern states and the District of Columbia for the purpose of serving as an entity through which colleges, universities, and other organizations may cooperate with one another and with government and other organizations in acquiring, developing, and using laboratories, machines, and other research facilities and in furthering knowledge in the physical, biological, and other natural sciences and engineering. The University of Kentucky is a founding member of SURA.

SURA's current research efforts are focused in nuclear physics, information technology, and materials science. SURA manages the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF) for the Department of Energy for research in nuclear science. The SURA/TJNAF Graduate Fellowship Program offers awards to graduate students at SURA institutions who plan to pursue TJNAF-related research.

Research Program at Oak Ridge
Associated Universities

Since 1946, students and faculty of the University of Kentucky have benefited from its membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a consortium of colleges and universities and operating contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORAU works with its member institutions to help their students and faculty gain access to federal research facilities throughout the country; to keep its members informed about opportunities for fellowship, scholarship, and research appointments; and to organize research alliances among its members.

Contact the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, University of Kentucky, (606) 257-1663 for more information about ORAU programs; or contact Ann H. Patton, ORAU Corporate Secretary, at (615) 576-3306.

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