Designs and programming

Dear Colleagues,

It is hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since we launched the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. With the hard work of many on campus, I am pleased to say that visions — both of the campus and its programming — are rapidly turning into realities.

Perhaps the most exciting news we will have to share this fall will be when we unveil the architectural renderings and 3-D models of our outstanding new research building. The exciting design represents months of intensive work by our terrific architectural team and on-campus building user group. The architecture itself reinforces the Knight Campus goals of supporting innovative, interactive, and high impact research in an open, cutting-edge space. Details on the reveal event will be in Around the O and on the UO event calendar next month.

Now that we have the operations of the Knight Campus up and running, this year we are turning our attention to launching a wide array of programmatic activities. Over the summer the longstanding and highly successful Master's Industrial Internship Program and the Bioinformatics and Genomics Master's Program were brought together in a single home within the Knight Campus. These programs train scientists in an accelerated academic format and provide opportunities for the real-world knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in an industrial environment. When the first Knight Campus building is complete in early 2020, these academic tracks will be physically located together for the first time. Our new building will also host training laboratories and classroom spaces designed specifically for applied graduate education. This new space, and its adjacency to our new innovative spaces and core facilities, will provide the opportunity to expand upon an already strong portfolio of programs into new areas.

In addition to these formal degree programs, we are initiating a new professional development series aimed at graduate students, with training specifically geared toward entrepreneurship and science communications. This fall we have planned two separate workshops in these areas led by Professor Andrew Nelson (Lundquist College of Business) and Senior Instructor Marquis Blaine (School of Journalism and Communication). These programs will be available to all interested students. Please look for specific details about the programs in Around the O at the beginning of fall quarter.

The Knight Campus is also pleased to announce funding for five UO student outreach programs geared toward enhancing diversity in the sciences. Support includes:

  • A second year of expanded programming for the North Star Project to improve retention and representation of women and underrepresented minority students in the physical sciences, including a summer residential program, a lecture series and research stipends.
  • A part-time program coordinator, research awards and lab supplies for Students of Color Opportunities for Research Enrichment (SCORE), which supports participation and retention of underrepresented minorities in life sciences.
  • Expanded recruitment of and support for underrepresented University of Oregon undergraduate students in the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR).
  • Sustaining support for Community for Minorities in STEM (CMiS), which aims to recruit and retain underrepresented students in the sciences as well as provide student-initiated professional development opportunities.
  • Fellowships for students from underrepresented groups in the STEM fields to participate in the Sustainable Invention Immersion Week.

We look forward to highlighting the work and achievements of these programs over course of the coming year.

Our community outreach highlight of the fall term will be the second “Science Knight Out” headlined by Professor Laura Lee McIntyre of the College of Education. Dr. McIntyre will be presenting on autism and neurodevelopmental research at 7:00 pm on November 14 at the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts in Eugene. Reserve free tickets

Additionally, we will take our Science Knight Out lecture series on the road with a reprise of my spring talk on “Science at the Nexus of Life and Death,” this time at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland on November 29.

Finally, while we have enjoyed using our temporary offices on the second floor of Johnson Hall for much of last year, on October 2 we will be moving to the top floor of the 1399 Franklin Building on the north side of Franklin Boulevard, very near where construction will begin next year. Look for our new signage on Franklin Boulevard in the coming days.

I hope to have a chance to see and chat with you at one of the many events we have planned for this fall. It has been an amazing year of activity, and it has been gratifying to see our entire campus community has come together to take such significant steps toward making this game-changing initiative a reality.

All the best,


Patrick Phillips
Acting Executive Director, Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact
Professor of Biology, University of Oregon

Acting Executive Director UPDATES