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Oklahoma State University
OSU Research

Office of the Vice President for Research

Tier 1 Graphic


 Oklahoma State University’s research has always had its foundation in addressing societal needs. OSU is labeling these areas as its Tier 1 Research Initiatives, to emphasize that the efforts represent Timely, Impactful, Engaged Research (TIER).

“OSU’s research has always reflected our land-grant mission to serve society,” said President Burns Hargis. “Our Tier 1 Research Initiatives represent a commitment to Oklahoma that we intend to use our research strengths to make a major difference in areas of vital importance to our world.” 

OSU Vice President for Research Dr. Kenneth Sewell considers the Tier 1 Research Initiatives cornerstones of the university’s overall research enterprise.

“We have amazing researchers all across the spectrum of academic departments and disciplines at OSU,” Sewell said.  “That’s why OSU is among the nation’s top tier of research universities, according to the Carnegie classifications. But our Tier 1 Research Initiatives take our public mission to a higher level by coordinating across disciplines to tackle some of society’s challenges head-on.”

Two existing research centers are receiving this designation immediately based on the public impact of their missions.

  • The Drone Initiative: Drones Serving Our Safety and Environment 
  • The Opioid Initiative: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic 

Additional Tier 1 Research Initiatives will be selected based on an ongoing idea competition. Last fall teams of OSU and OSU-CHS researchers submitted ideas for thematic areas that could comprise the next designated initiatives. Four teams have been selected as finalists, receiving  planning grants to vie for the designation.

  • The Carbon Initiative: Capture, Store, Reduce, Reuse
  • The Microbiome Initiative: Connecting the Microbiome to Health
  • The Water Initiative: Ensuring Sustainable Water for Oklahoma
  • The Rural Initiative: Ensuring the Future of Rural Oklahoma