Jan. 26, 2001

A Director's Office column by Harry Radousky Institutes open doors to collaborative research

LLNL has five University/Lab institutes that operate under the auspices of the University Relations Program (URP). The objective of these institutes is to improve access to DOE's unique facilities, contribute to science education, strengthen existing LLNL programs, develop new initiatives and enhance access of Lab researchers to both UC and the larger university community.

As acting director of the University Relations Program, I would like to give you an overview of the history, goals and research directions of these institutes. will be running articles discussing the unique features of each institute, with the overall goal of making the Lab more aware of the institutes' functions and how they might be helpful to anyone interested in expanding university interactions.

The five University/Lab institutes fall in the middle of the spectrum of university collaborations at LLNL. While they are less formal than large programs such as the ASCI Alliances, they are much more structured than an individual one-faculty/one-staff member interaction. The general philosophy is to operate with a core permanent staff, while hosting large numbers of post-docs, students, visiting faculty, and Lab staff who participate in the institutes' activities. Each institute also hosts an active seminar series and collaborative research program, and provides a focus for communication between Lab researchers and the broad academic community.

The institutes form a centerpiece for the Laboratory's research collaborations with universities. The institutes are all strongly aligned with one or more of the directorates, and strive to have a high profile in the university community. These institutes are: