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Top 10 Inquiry Stories of 2017

Marquee letters that spell 2017

For many, the end of the year is a time for reflection. At Inquiry, it’s an opportunity to look back at the many projects, discoveries, and partnerships we have covered here at the University of Minnesota.

Inquiry, led by the U’s Office of the Vice President for Research, was launched in 2014 to explore the impact of research and innovation. Since then, its stories have spanned research efforts at all scales, from strengthening our local economies to forming international research partnerships to discovering distant galaxies.

Over the past year, we have also had the opportunity to celebrate numerous milestones within the University, such as major anniversaries of the Center for Transportation Studies and the Institute on the Environment.

As 2017 comes to a close, here’s a look back at the year’s 10 most-read stories.


10. A Quest to Drill Below Antarctic Ice
U of M Duluth’s John Goodge is coleading a project to drill 11,000 feet into the Antarctic ice sheet to reach never-before-studied ice and rock samples. 


9. Researchers Set Sights on Uprooting Land-Based Invasive Species
The U's Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center is leading 11 state-funded projects to curb ecological and economic damage across Minnesota. 


8. 2017 Minnesota Futures Awards Focus on Science of Prevention
This year’s Minnesota Futures awards went to research projects that included addressing the dwindling population of bees, studying sexual assault on college campuses, and preventing the spread of cancer. 


7. U Research Infrastructure Awarded $2.5 Million
Over $2.5 million was awarded through this year’s Research Infrastructure Awards—investments vital to the U of M’s ability to conduct state-of-the-art research. 


6. Innovation Fellows Medical Device First to Reach Market
A device for treating jaw fractures was the first invention out of the Medical Devices Center innovation program to be licensed by a company and become available on the market. 


5. Meet Allen Levine, Interim VP for Research
Levine, who started at OVPR in early January 2016, oversees University research across all of its campuses and facilities—a $940 million enterprise, by the most recent numbers. 


4. Recognizing the U’s Most Entrepreneurial Innovators
The Inventor Recognition Event celebrated innovative and entrepreneurial researchers whose inventions move beyond the lab to grow businesses, benefit the public good, and improve quality of life in Minnesota and beyond. 


3. Bell Museum’s Cooked Wood Highlights Niche Industry Opportunity
The new Bell Museum of Natural History and Planetarium building will feature Minnesota white pine that has been thermally modified to be more stable and water-resistant. 


2. F&A Funding Crucial to Success of U Research
Indirect research funding, or F&A, helps universities recover a portion of the administrative and infrastructure expenses that come along with research. 


1. Study Shows Middle-Class Wages Have Stagnated Over Time
A team of researchers from across institutions outline the growing economic pressure on workers over recent decades and point to early-career conditions as the largest influence on lifetime earnings.

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a communications specialist with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

coss@umn.edu

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