University of Chicago Arete
University-wide Computation Strategy

University-wide Computation Strategy

University-wide Computation Strategy

The Opportunity:

Given the impact that computation has and will increasingly have on the nature of the scientific enterprise, the University of Chicago has a strong interest in proactively assessing and revising an institutional strategy to emerge as a leader in an ever changing field.  University administration and the President’s Science Group sought out Arete to bring together computation faculty leaders to formulate a ten year strategic plan that will set an agenda for a cutting edge approach to how the University leverages computation to advance education and research.

What we did for them:

  • Convene interdisciplinary partnerships across the University
  • Collaborate with National Labs
  • Convene and manage University support and leadership
  • Bridge institutional gaps at University
  • Facilitate research feasibility and agenda-setting workshops
  • Develop research agenda
  • Facilitate strategic, long-term institutional planning
  • Integrate institutional goals and research agendas
  • Develop integrated and holistic funding strategy
  • Invest institutional support in early stage ideas
  • Engage federal agencies
The Knowledge Lab

The Knowledge Lab

The Knowledge Lab

The Opportunity:

Sociologist James Evans wanted to understand how knowledge emerges, thrives, evolves, and dies out.  Through an iterative approach, Evans and Arete  worked to formulate and fund a multidisciplinary workshop composed of social scientists, computer scientists, and domain experts from several disciplines to explore the topic.   The process culminated in the formation of a research network as a resource for the study of knowledge about knowledge, or “metaknowledge.” With Arete’s assistance, this ambitious idea developed into a prominent new center of study, the Knowledge Lab, under the Computation Institute.

What we did for them:

  • Convene interdisciplinary partnerships across the University
  • Facilitate research feasibility and agenda-setting workshops
  • Help funders achieve their funding visions
  • Invest institutional support in early stage ideas
  • Engage foundations 

Principal Investigator:  James Evans

Website: http://www.knowledgelab.org

The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC)

The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC)

The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC)

The Opportunity:

Upon the arrival of Michael Greenstone to the University of Chicago as the new director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), the Institute was looking to broaden its mission and scope, expand its presence on campus and off, and foster an interdisciplinary faculty base beyond its roots within the University’s policy and business schools. With Arete’s help in building a strategic plan and making needed connections throughout the University, faculty, researchers and students from throughout the University are now heavily engaged in the Institute; and EPIC has doubled in size and connected with new, influential audiences.

What we did for them:

  • Convene interdisciplinary partnerships across the University
  • Convene and manage University support and leadership
  • Bridge institutional gaps at University
  • Scale up and expand program scope
  • Develop integrated and holistic funding strategy
  • Help funders achieve their funding visions

Principal Investigator:  Michael Greenstone (director), Bob Rosner (founding co-director) and Bob Topel (founding co-director)

Website: www.epic.uchicago.edu

Institute for Molecular Engineering Water Research Initiative

Institute for Molecular Engineering Water Research Initiative

Institute for Molecular Engineering Water Research Initiative

The Opportunity:

In June 2013 Chicago’s Mayor and the President of Israel attended a signing ceremony in Jerusalem with the presidents of the University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University to launch the Water Research Initiative devoted to investigating all aspects of water use by bringing a multitude of molecular engineering approaches to enhance the purification and utilization of water. The two universities, together with Argonne National Laboratory, made significant initial contributions to the collaborative Initiative.  In the beginning stages, Arete worked closely with Matthew Tirrell, director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering, and scientists from the University, Ben-Gurion, and Argonne to conceptualize and develop a workshop agenda that formed the basis for the collaborative agreement.   Additionally, Arete contributed significant experience in running a request for proposals process that resulted in the Initiative’s inaugural cross-institutional projects.

What we did for them:

  • Facilitate research feasibility and agenda-setting workshops
  • Explore funding opportunities for international collaborations
  • Collaborate with National Labs and international partners
  • Facilitate strategic, long-term institutional planning

Principal Investigator:  Matthew Tirrell

Website: www.ime.uchicago.edu/themes/molecular_engineering_of_water_resources

Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health

The Opportunity:

Melissa Gilliam, pediatric and adolescent gynecologist in the Biological Sciences Division, came to Arete with a big idea.  She wanted to bring together a unique interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners, on and off campus, who cared about sexual and reproductive health so that they could further research and share tools.  Arete helped connect Gilliam to researchers from different fields and organize an agenda setting workshop.  This preliminary work led to a white paper and with Arete’s assistance, Gilliam was able to get the institutional buy in and support needed to launch the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) that works to advance sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice locally, nationally, and globally.

What we did for them:

  • Invest institutional support in early stage ideas
  • Facilitate research feasibility and agenda-setting workshops
  • Launch center, from conception to hiring dedicated staff
  • Convene interdisciplinary partnerships across the University
  • Engage foundations
  • Help funders achieve their funding visions
  • Develop integrated and holistic funding strategy
  • Convene and manage university support and leadership
  • Bridge institutional gaps at University
  • Facilitate strategic, long-term sustainability planning

Principal Investigator:  Melissa Gilliam

Website:  http://ci3.uchicago.edu/

Social Resilience in the Armed Forces

Social Resilience in the Armed Forces

Social Resilience in the Armed Forces

The Opportunity:

Social neuroscientist John Cacioppo sought out Arete support while working to submit a proposal to work with the U.S. Army to determine whether an intensive, well-designed training program can improve soldiers’ resilience and performance and increase the cohesion of military units, all the while reducing negative health effects and adverse social consequences.  Arete worked with Cacioppo to flesh out and propose the complex and multifaceted Social Awareness & Action Training program and with army leadership to figure out how a program could be integrated into military life.

What we did for them:

  • Collaborate with external research partners on program development
  • Evaluate feasibility of implementation to refine research strategy
  • Engage federal funding agencies

Principal Investigator:  John Cacioppo

Urban Science and Data

Urban Science and Data

Urban Science and Data

The Opportunity:

Arete is helping to carving out a space for the University in the growing field of urban science and data.  By putting together a robust portfolio of projects with diverse faculty and scientists, the University is leveraging data analytics and high performance computing to solve problems that cities face.  Components of this overall portfolio include: the creation of the Urban Center for Computation and Data; the Living Cities Lab, a research collaboration between the University and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, an architectural firm which plans city-scale redevelopment efforts for clients around the world; LakeSIM, a computational planning tool which connects urban planning with scientific models for large-scale planning (a collaboration between Argonne and McCaffery Interests, the developer of the 600 acre Chicago Lakeside brownfield development site); a prospective sociological study of the neighborhoods surrounding Lakeside; and the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Data Science for the Social Good Fellowship Program, an initiative in which student fellows in computer science, programming, and statistics work with academic and business advisors on projects of social import.

What We did for them:

  • Collaborate with National Labs
  • Engage external partners and community leaders
  • Launch center or institute, from conception to hiring dedicated staff

Project Leads: Charlie Catlett, Rayid Ghani, Kate Cagney

Website:  www.urbanccd.org; www.dssg.io

Modeling MRSA Outbreaks

Modeling MRSA Outbreaks

Modeling MRSA Outbreaks

The Opportunity:

Ten years ago, Chicago (and some other cities in the U.S.) experienced a dramatic increase in severe skin infections caused by new strain types of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) circulating among otherwise health people in the community. Before the 1990s, MRSA only circulated in healthcare environments like hospitals, affecting individuals already compromised by other health problems and clinical procedures.  Diane Lauderdale, a professor of epidemiology, was interested in using computational models to understand how these bacterial infections spread in the community.  Arete brought Lauderdale together with Charles Macal, a systems engineer at Argonne, to use agent-based modeling to integrate information about MRSA spread, geographic factors and the behavior of individuals and groups.  Arete then assisted the researchers with devising a project and successfully pursuing funding from the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) network, which was established by the National Institutes of Health to support dynamic modeling of infectious diseases.

What we did for them:

  • Convene interdisciplinary partnerships across the University
  • Collaborate with National Labs
  • Facilitate research feasibility and agenda-setting workshops
  • Help funders achieve their funding visions
  • Engage federal agencies

Principal Investigator: Diane Lauderdale and Charles Macal

Website: www.mrsa-research-center.bsd.uchicago.edu

Creating a Science of Wisdom

Creating a Science of Wisdom

Creating a Science of Wisdom

The Opportunity:

In partnership with the Templeton Foundation and with support from Arete, the University has made establishing Chicago as a center for wisdom research a priority. In the Defining Wisdom Project, social psychologist and neuroscientist Howard Nusbaum, with help from Arete, managed a regranting program to seed a new field of research through funding 23 research projects around the world by up-and-coming investigators in diverse fields, including psychology, neurobiology, medicine, philosophy, and the classics.  In the process, Nusbaum built an interdisciplinary cadre of University of Chicago faculty interested in taking wisdom research to the next level. This faculty interest then led to the Chicago Wisdom Project to develop a science of wisdom through research projects, core resources, a Wisdom Forum, an undergraduate curriculum, and engagement with relevant professional and scholarly communities.

What we did for them:

  • Convene interdisciplinary partnerships across the University
  • Convene and manage University support and leadership
  • Scale up and expand program scope
  • Facilitate strategic, long-term institutional planning
  • Develop programs and initiatives
  • Engage foundations

Principal Investigator:  Howard Nusbaum

Website: www.wisdomresearch.org

Enterprise Initiative

Enterprise Initiative

Enterprise Initiative

The Opportunity:

Arete worked with Robert Townsend, professor of economics, to build out an ambitious research program using Applied General Equilibrium Enterprise Economics (AGE3) to better understand the role of entrepreneurship in wealth creation and poverty alleviation in developing countries.  Arete worked with Townsend to convene with leading economists at the University of Chicago, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and to secure funding for a large-scale research program, the Enterprise Initiative   

 What we did for them:

  • Convene interdisciplinary partnerships across the University
  • Convene and manage University support and leadership
  • Scale up and expand program scope
  • Develop programs and initiatives
  • Help funders achieve funding visions

Principal Investigator:   Robert M. Townsend

Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty

Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty

Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty

The Opportunity:

Understanding and measuring how financial systems can be better designed to include the poor and alleviate poverty around the world is far from a small task.  Building off Robert Townsend’s Enterprise Initiative, Arete liaised between researchers, the University, and a foundation to develop and fund a large-scale research program that brought together a council of leading scholars in a Consortium and oversaw seed funding to investigate the impact of savings and financial services on poor households, macro and regulatory issues, and the impact of mobile banking in developing countries.

What we did for them:

  • Collaborate with other University offices
  • Facilitate research feasibility and agenda-setting workshops
  • Develop integrated and holistic funding strategy
  • Help funders achieve their funding visions
  • Engage foundations

Principal Investigator:   Robert M. Townsend

Website: www.cfsp.org

Thirty Million Words Initiative

Thirty Million Words Initiative

Thirty Million Words Initiative

The opportunity:

Arete was enlisted by University of Chicago’s leadership to support the Thirty Million Words Initiative, a research intervention led by pediatric surgeon Dana Suskind that redresses the cognitive gap that divides advantaged from disadvantaged children during their first three years. Arete’s work included helping to hire an administrative director as well as convening and coordinating the University’s support for the initiative, including communications and federal relations efforts.  Additionally, Arete provided logistical and strategic assistance as Suskind scaled up TMW’s research sites, developed and pursued a fundraising strategy, and worked with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to explore a new initiative expanding this project to a national level.

What we did for them:

  • Convene and manage University support and leadership
  • Collaborate with other University offices
  • Scale up and expand program scope
  • Facilitated funder relationships

Principal Investigator:  Dana Suskind

Website: www.tmw.org

University of Chicago Center in Beijing

University of Chicago Center in Beijing

University of Chicago Center in Beijing

The opportunity:

In 2010 University leadership approached Arete to help launch the University’s Center in Beijing by fostering foundation support for planned programs and research. Building upon more than a century of collaboration between scholars from Chicago and China, the Beijing Center enables the University to expand existing activities and form new alliances and partnerships with universities, businesses, medical centers, policy groups, government agencies, and cultural organizations in China. In addition to developing a suite of foundation strategies, Arete collaborated in the design of an exchange program for North American and Chinese graduate study in the social sciences aimed to transform the ways social science research on China is done, accelerating the process by fostering direct research relationships between researchers and organizational partners in China.

What we did for them:

  • Align programs and initiatives with funding opportunities
  • Collaborate with other University offices
  • Develop integrated and holistic funding strategy
  • Engage foundations

Principal Investigator: Dali Yang

Website: www.uchicago.cn

Center for Robust Decision Making on Energy and Climate Policy

Center for Robust Decision Making on Energy and Climate Policy

Center for Robust Decision Making on Energy and Climate Policy

The opportunity:

Following on a meeting between the then-president of the MacArthur Foundation and University of Chicago President Zimmer, Arete assisted Ian Foster, Director of the Computation Institute, in developing a “big idea” for MacArthur at the intersection of computation, energy, and climate change.  Arete worked with Foster to assemble a faculty team which proposed the creation of a next generation model to study the socio-economic implications of climate change and climate policies and to guide high-level decision making. After successfully securing preliminary funding, Arete worked with the Computation Institute to establish the administrative and institutional infrastructure necessary for a major scale up and the award of a large National Science Foundation grant to launch the Center on Robust Decision Making on Climate and Energy Policy.

What we did for them:

·      Convened interdisciplinary partnerships across the University

·      Developed integrated and holistic funding strategy

·      Helped funder achieve its funding vision

·      Prepared for site visits

·      Scaled up and expanded program scope

·      Developed programs and initiatives

Principal Investigator:  Ian Foster

Website: www.rdcep.org

Macroeconomic Modeling and Systemic Risk Research Initiative

Macroeconomic Modeling and Systemic Risk Research Initiative

Macroeconomic Modeling and Systemic Risk Research Initiative

THE OPPORTUNITY:

The financial crisis of 2007-09 revealed serious gaps in our ability to define, measure and manage financial sector activities that pose risks to the macroeconomy. With Arete support, Lars Peter Hansen and the Becker Friedman Institute applied for and won a three year grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to establish the Macroeconomic Modeling and Systemic Risk Research Initiative. The project analyzes the interplay between the financial sector and the macroeconomy, and produces practical tools for assessing systemic risk.  The Initiative assembles a group of experts with complementary knowledge and skills from the University of Chicago and other leading academic institutions around the country.  This project engages central bankers and policy leaders globally, provides fellowships to graduate students with fresh perspectives in developing new macroeconomic models, and is gaining momentum and interest among researchers around the world.  

WHAT WE DID FOR THEM:

  • Engage foundations 

Principal Investigator: Lars Peter Hansen

Website: www.mfmgroup.org

The Science of Virtues

The Science of Virtues

The Science of Virtues

THE OPPORTUNITY:

The John Templeton Foundation approached the University of Chicago in order to explore how the study of virtues fits into academic discourse and resources.  Arete worked with Jean Bethke Elshtain to assemble a team of faculty members at the University of Chicago to help determine how rigorous scientific methodologies can be applied to the study of virtues.

WHAT WE DID FOR THEM:

  • Convene interdisciplinary partnerships across the University
  • Develop programs and initiatives
  • Help funders achieve their funding visions

Principal Investigators: Jean Bethke Elshtain & Howard Nusbaum

Website: www.scienceofvirtues.org

Expanding Health Insurance

Expanding Health Insurance

Expanding Health Insurance

The Opportunity:

Measuring access to health care is not enough; research must go beyond who is receiving benefits to understand the value of that access. Anup Malani, professor of law and medicine, is conducting an evaluation of a national Indian health care initiative, called Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY), aimed at providing nearly free hospital services to Indians in the lowest quarter of the income scale, in order to help inform how the program is implemented and expanded. Arete is working with Malani to develop foundation and federal funding strategies for his research project. Arete is also working with him and other faculty to develop a larger goal of establishing an interdisciplinary health policy and economics center that focuses on large-scale field research by facilitating agenda-setting workshops and developing a strategy plan around the development of a center.

What we did for them:

Develop integrated and holistic funding strategy

Engage foundations and federal agencies

Facilitate research feasibility and agenda-setting workshops

Develop programs and initiatives

Principle Investigator:  Anup Malani

UK-UC Microbiome Partnership

UK-UC Microbiome Partnership

UK-UC Microbiome Partnership

The Opportunity:

Arete began working with the British Consulate in Chicago in their efforts to enhance collaboration between researchers in the United Kingdom and the United States. Understanding the Consulate’s funding priorities, Arete helped build a partnership between Jack Gilbert, Associate Professor of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Chicago and Environmental Microbiologist at Argonne National Laboratories, and researchers in the UK to better understand how hospitals can be organized better to control disease-causing bacteria, some of which have become resistant to treatment by antibiotics. The Consulate funded and organized a workshop in London for scholars and health care leaders from the UK to learn more about the UChicago’s Hospital Microbiome Project and the potential for launching similar studies in the UK.

What we did for them:

  • Engage external partners and community leaders
  • Develop programs and initiatives
  • Help funders achieve their funding visions

Principle Investigator: Jack Gilbert

The Science of Philanthropy Initiative

The Science of Philanthropy Initiative

The Science of Philanthropy Initiative

THE OPPORTUNITY:

Relatively little is known about why people give. John List enlisted Arete’s help to expand on his groundbreaking work and support his desire to evolve the science of philanthropy. Arete worked with List to help define the Science of Philanthropy Initiative and identify and engage funding organizations to create a research and outreach project that utilizes rigorous quantitative methods and partnerships with the philanthropic community to explore the motivations behind charitable giving. Arete continues to engage with SPI as it positions itself for the next level of funding engagement.

WHAT WE DID FOR THEM:

  • Convene and manage university support and leadership
  • Engage foundations
  • Launch center from conception to hiring dedicated staff 

Principal Investigator:  John List

Website: www.spihub.org

New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology

New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology

New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology

 THE OPPORTUNITY:

Arete supported Donald York, professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, in working with the John Templeton Foundation to launch the New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology program, which supports bold, innovative ideas with potential to expand boundaries and deepen the foundation of scientific inquiry and catalyze breakthrough discoveries on Big Questions in astronomy and cosmology.  The New Frontiers program pursued these objectives through a worldwide grant competition and a concurrent essay contest for high school and college students.

 

WHAT WE DID FOR THEM:

  • Help funders achieve their funding visions

Principal Investigator: Donald York

Website: www.newfrontiersinastronomy.org

Research Computing Center

Research Computing Center

Research Computing Center

The Opportunity:

The creation of the Research Computing Center (RCC) emerged as the result of an internal review process at the University of Chicago on how to facilitate research efforts that require ever increasing amounts of data and computing resources. The Center enables research by providing high performance computing and visualization resources, access to software, workshops, one-on-one consulting with domain experts, and complete data management strategies to researchers across all departments and divisions. Arete worked with H. Birali Runesha, the Center’s Director, to help launch the Center from conception to operation, coordinating across the University and identifying and applying for grants.

What we did for them:

  • Convene and manage University support and leadership
  • Launch center, from conception to hiring dedicated staff
  • Develop business plan
  • Engage federal agencies
  • Facilitate strategic, long-term sustainability planning

Principle Investigator:  Hakizumwami Birali Runesha

Website:  http://rcc.uchicago.edu/

Scientific Exchange + Big Data

Scientific Exchange + Big Data

Scientific Exchange + Big Data

The UK Science and Innovation Network funded a set of workshops between Cambridge, University of Southampton and UChicago through the Reseach Computing Center (RCC) to foster collaboration and exchange of information about research computing capabilities, resource models and data management implementation. The three universities looked at ways they can collaboratively tackle the enormous challenges associated with big data and computation. Managing big data has become fundamental to progress in science. Furthermore, science is increasingly more collaborative in order to be transformative. That challenge is best met by institutional and often international cooperation.

What we did for them:

  • Engage external partners and community leaders
  • Develop programs and initiatives
  • Help funders achieve their funding visions

Principle Investigator:  Hakizumwami Birali Runesha

Joint Microbiome Initiative

Joint Microbiome Initiative

Joint Microbiome Initiative

Joint Microbiome Initiative between University of Chicago (UChicago), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL)

The Opportunity:

Microbiome research is a burgeoning area of research that has the potential to create revolutionary technologies and ideas that will influence our lives. From investigating how probiotics can be used to prevent obesity and allergies, to developing “living” buildings” that minimize the spread of viruses or allergens, to using microbial partners in plant and animal feed as a way to increase productivity without the need to use pesticides or antibiotics. To spearhead this initiative, Arete is working closely with a leading researcher in this field, Jack Gilbert, and other stakeholders to bring together faculty members and researchers from across the University of Chicago (UChicago), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) to create an integrated microbiome research center. This joint microbiome initiative aims to explore new interdisciplinary research areas in the microbiome, connect to industry partners, and engage with existing units at the University of Chicago around relevant technologies and cutting-edge microbiome wisdom. This new center builds upon previous Arete projects and partnerships such as the UK-UC microbiome partnership, grant proposal advising, and other communication and strategic endeavors.

What We Did for Them:

  • Convene University support and leadership
  • Coordinate partnerships and support with external affiliates and federal agencies
  • Collaborate on communication strategies
  • Develop a federal, foundation and philanthropic funding strategy for launch
  • Develop a business plan

Principal Investigator: Jack Gilbert