Office of Research & Engagement

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Federal R&D Budget Outlook

Oxygen oases found in 2.8 billion-year-old rocks

Dr. Robert Riding, research professor in Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of Tennessee, received a write-up in New Scientist last week for a discovery he and his colleagues made while analyzing rock samples collected from Steep Rock Lake in Ontario, Canada. 

Riding’s team found that the limestone from which the samples were taken had not changed in 2.8 billion years. For limestone to form, calcium carbonate must be stripped of all its dissolved iron — a process which can only happen if oxygen is present. 

Why is this important? Because oxygen levels didn’t increase on a worldwide scale until 2.4 billion years ago. This is the first evidence of an “oxygen oasis,” which could have helped early life develop a tolerance to the poisonous gas. 

Read more at New Scientist or read Dr. Riding’s research, “Identification of an Archean marine oxygen oasis.”

UTRF Makes Top 100 Universities List for New U.S. Patents

Top 100 Universities Granted U.S. Patents in 2013 (by NAI and IPO)

Top 100 Universities Granted U.S. Patents in 2013 (by NAI and IPO)

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) was listed among the world’s top universities for producing new U.S. utility patents. UTRF ranked 80th, ahead of Emory, Yale, and Princeton, according to a study by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

The list, compiled based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), recognizes the important role of patents in university research. Academic patenting not only protects a university’s intellectual property, but can also be a source of additional funding.

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Video: UT Summer STEM Symposium

Undergraduate students, teachers, and young scholars participating in four different summer research programs at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville showcased work at a STEM symposium at Ayres Hall Friday, July 18, 2014. There, groups and individuals from all over the world presented their research projects conducted while collaborating with UT’s NIMBioS, CURENT, TNSCORE, and NICS research centers. Posters spanned science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. 

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics & Engineering Mentoring

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) is a Presidential award established by the White House and administered by the National Science Foundation. PAESMEM recognizes individuals for their mentoring of persons from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, women, persons with disabilities, persons from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and early career scientists and engineers. Historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields include African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians, and Native Alaskans. These are groups who might not otherwise have considered or had access to opportunities in STEM education or careers.  Individual and Organizational PAESMEM awardees receive a $10,000 award and a commemorative Presidential certificate.  Awardees are also invited to participate in an award recognition ceremony in Washington, DC.

Deadline: October 3, 2014


AAAS Science & Technology Fellowships Announcement

AAAS Science & Technology Fellowships provide opportunities for scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking and implementation while contributing their knowledge and analytical skills to policymakers.AAAS administers the S&T Policy Fellowships for doctoral degree scientists and engineers to provide opportunities for accomplished scientists and engineers to participate in and contribute to the federal policymaking process.

The application deadline is November 1, 2014.

See their website for more information on S&T Policy Fellowships.

For further information and application advice, please contact Alan Rutenberg, in the Office of Research & Engagement.

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