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New name and director for research office

By Meaghan Whelan

The Office of Research, a unit reporting to the vice-president (research), has a new director and a new name. Dr. Marlies Rise is the director of the Office of Research Services whose primary function is to serve as a liaison between faculty members and numerous funding organizations. Formerly known as the Office of Research, the new name was approved at the December meeting of the Board of Regents, and better reflects the service-oriented nature of the office.

Dr. Rise, who received her PhD in forest biology from the University of Victoria, came to Memorial in 2006 as a visiting scientist with the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) and was subsequently appointed as adjunct professor at the OSC. She has worked collaboratively with faculty at the OSC on projects that have been published and presented nationally and internationally.

"We're delighted with the appointment of Dr. Rise as the new director of the Office of Research Services," said Dr. Christopher Loomis, vice-president (research). "She brings enthusiasm, experience and a new vision to the role that will help position Memorial for even greater success in research."

Most recently, Dr. Rise served as a program manager for Genome Atlantic, a not-for-profit organization promoting genomics research in Atlantic Canada, where she developed new project proposals and other initiatives. In her new role, Dr. Rise will work with researchers at Memorial to facilitate opportunities that develop and enhance their research goals, and advance those of the institution.

“I will seek to build outreach from the Office of Research Services to the research community at Memorial University. A main focus will be to facilitate team building to enable large-scale and interdisciplinary research through new funding opportunities,” she explained.

“The Office of Research has earned and maintained a reputation for dedication, diligence and excellence. I plan to ensure that I preserve the environment at the Office of Research Services to allow the staff to continue to perform in an exemplary manner. In addition, it is my intention to work with the team to examine policies and procedures to see where changes may be possible to improve efficiencies for faculty as well as for staff.”

Some of the key goals for Dr. Rise are to improve web-based resources and information to facilitate applications for funding, and to provide a greater variety of workshops to help researchers submit increasingly competitive applications for funding.

“In the short term, with the team from the Office of Research Services, I hope to make strong contributions towards helping Memorial achieve its strategic goals, including increasing annual research funding by $10 million by 2012,” she said. “In the long term, I hope to support and contribute to the success of the ever-growing, innovative and world-renowned research excellence at Memorial University.”

The former director of the Office of Research, Barbara Cox, retired in June after 36 years with the university.