The Office of Integrative Research in the Sciences (OIRS) is responsible for developing, managing and assessing programmatic opportunities that cut across Furman’s science disciplines. Created by the Provost’s Office in 2008 and directed by Prof. John Wheeler, OIRS currently includes a full-time staff of three including Dr. Wheeler, Dr. John Kaup (Coordinator of Science Education) and Ms. Sydney Wood (Administrative Assistant).
Since 2008 the office has directed a number of different competitive federal and private initiatives including:
- two Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Research Grants at the interface of Biology and Chemistry (2005-2008; 2009-2012),
- two NIH-INBRE grants as part of the SC-IDeA network (2005-2010; 2010-2015),
- an NSF-RII cooperative agreement as part of a SC-EPSCoR Track I Award (2009-2014),
- an Undergraduate Science Education (USE) award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2008-2012), and
- an NSF S-STEM Scholarships Award (2012-2017).
In total, these programs reflect more than $7M in funds supporting student and faculty research, curricular development, and outreach at Furman University.
In addition to providing supervision of external programs, OIRS is engaged with both on-campus and off-campus initiatives that enhance research and educational opportunities for Furman faculty, Furman students, professional scientists and the K-12 sector across the Upstate of South Carolina.
The S-STEM Scholars program (2012-2017) provides scholarship support (up to $10K/year) for students interested in Chemistry and/or Biology.
For the 5th year, a middle-school mentoring program (Furman STEM Mentors) is linking over 60 Furman Science and Math majors with at-risk youth in our public school system.
Over the past 4 years, Furman faculty (and students) are connecting with students from the Governor’s School for Science and Math (GSSM), Bridges to a Brighter Future (BBF) and local Middle and HS Science and Math teachers to provide research experiences/exposures over 2-6 week summer programs.