Current Status Report - September 2011
Text in red denotes new activity since previous status report.

Establish major new centers or institutes

Action Taken

  • Inaugurated five multidisciplinary initiatives: the Humanities Center, the Environmental Change Initiative, the Initiative in Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences, the Center for Computational Molecular Biology, and the Center for Genomics and Proteomics
  • Created the Brain Science Program, a potential institute, led by Professor John Donoghue
  • Appointed new faculty in 2004–05 to lead new and developing initiatives including the Environmental Change Initiative (Osvaldo Sala), the Initiative in Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4) (John Logan), the Center for Computational Molecular Biology (Charles Lawrence), and the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization (Steven Lubar)
  • Received Corporation approval for the new Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
  • Approved a program in Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship involving the departments of Sociology and Economics and the Division of Engineering
  • Appointed new faculty in 2005–06 to lead new and developing initiatives including the Cogut Center for the Humanities (Michael Steinberg) and the Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World (Susan Alcock)
  • Inaugurated process through the Academic Priorities Committee (APC) in 2005–06 for regular review of centers and initiatives to ensure progress toward institutional objectives and strategic use of University resources
  • APC recommended the creation of a new Center for Environmental Health and Technology in spring 2006 to manage existing externally-funded interdisciplinary research activity and related educational programs and to catalyze further efforts in this area
  • Received a $15 million gift from the C.V. Starr Foundation for an endowment to support the Commerce, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship program
  • Created the Center for Vision Research under the auspices of the Brain Science Program
  • Established William R. Rhodes ’57 Center for International Economics
  • Appointed a faculty committee to consider the establishment of a scholarly and teaching initiative on slavery and justice
  • Founded Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation (IMNI) to support multidepartment collaborative research teams in targeted areas of the molecular and nanosciences
  • Increased funding for multidisciplinary Environmental Change Initiative under new director, National Academy of Sciences fellow Professor Johanna Schmitt
  • Received report from Slavery and Justice initiative committee in spring 2008 recommending a possible new multidisciplinary initiative
  • Approved the creation of a Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences to foster new collaborative, interdisciplinary research programs across Brown and its affiliated hospitals and institutions

Action Needed

  • Continue to build on multidisciplinary areas of special interest and strength
  • Continue to recommend new areas of focus for further expansion of the academic program
  • Seek approval of Global Health Center
  • Where possible, continue to promote international interdisciplinary research projects in key areas


  • Provost
  • Dean of the Faculty
  • Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences
  • Academic Priorities Committee
  • Vice President for Research
  • Vice President for International Affairs

Return to [Fostering Multidisciplinary Initiatives]