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Office for Research

The Office for Research at Idaho State University fosters and maintains mutually beneficial relationships with federal, state and corporate sponsors.  We provide high quality and timely service to our faculty and staff while maintaining balance between the interests of ISU, the State of Idaho, and the interests of industry for the public good.

Our scope encompasses several functional areas that handle different parts of the research process. We provide guidance, service and support for a variety of research areas including- energy and environmental applications, healthcare, biomedical, geosciences, data assurance.  We also provide access to research facilities through our Research Centers and Institutes.

Research Support, Business & Industry Partnerships

Research Funding - the Sponsored Programs and Support team assists faculty and staff as they develop proposals for external funding for sponsored research, scholarly and community service projects and post-award assistance.

Research Outreach and Compliance - We are Animal Use and IACUC, Human Subjects and IRB; Biosafety, Responsible Conduct of Research; Financial Conflict of Interest in Sponsored Projects; Export Control - from vendor clearance to travel "out of country".  We also coordinate STEM Diversity and Outreach, the CITI training program, the use of controlled substances in research and Undergraduate Research.  The review for use of Unmanned Aircraft System for research projects procedure is handled here.  The Research Outreach and Compliance team is available for assistance.

Innovation & Collaboration - ISU's talented researchers and students push the boundaries of innovation independently and collaboratively with private-sector partners.  To promote scientific developments and develop partnerships the Technology Commercialization office is available to support these endeavors.



Report on Incident #53011

Idaho State University acknowledges receiving a fine from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding an inventory discrepancy that occurred in 2003.

About 15 years ago, a small radioactive source was taken out of service at ISU with intentions of disposal due to questions with its integrity. University staff at that time only partially completed paperwork connected with the disposal action. During an inventory check last year, ISU staff identified a discrepancy between ISU records and federal records. This was immediately reported to the NRC, and procedures to prevent similar future occurrences were established. Unfortunately, because there was a lack of sufficient historical records to demonstrate the disposal pathway employed in 2003, the source in question had to be listed as missing.

Enhancements to ISU's inventory system and other administrative initiatives were immediately put into place to prevent this type of discrepancy in the future. University and regulatory officials have responded in an appropriate and responsible fashion. The radioactive source in question poses no direct health issue or risk to public safety.

The radioactive sources in question are known as Nuclear Accident Dosimeter (NAD) sources. In their original application, they would provide information about critical accidents if they occurred. When ISU received them, they were originally used in research to develop ways to investigate waste packages as part of the Idaho Cleanup Project. Later, after 9/11, they were used in research to develop methods to accomplish contraband detection that is important to border security. The sources contain very small trace quantities of radioactive material and have very limited applications.

Since this research is no longer being conducted at ISU, the group of sources previously used in the research is either being returned to the Department of Energy, or in some cases, ISU is collaborating with the DOE to dispose of them in an appropriate fashion.


NRC's May 4, 2018 News Release : NRC May 4, 2018 News Release

ISU Report to NRC, *Appendices with personal information have been removed: ISU Report to NRC, Incident 53011

NRC's Enforcement Action Letter: NRC Notice of Violation and Proposed Civil Penalty




One Minute With a Researcher

The Office for Research is proud to present our YouTube series   where researchers across campus provide insight into their areas of study.


Research in the News:

Idaho State University Ph.D. Student Chris Tennant's Research on Snowpack Measurement Recognized

POCATELLO – A research paper that uses data collected by lidar imaging to better measure snowpacks in Western U.S. mountains by former Idaho State University geosciences graduate student Chris Tennant has received a 2017 Editor’s Choice Award by the journal Water Resources Research.

Only about 1 percent of articles published annually in the journal receive this recognition.

The selection by the editors of the journal is “based on technical significance, novelty, originality, presentation, and broader implications of the publication.” The work will be highlighted at American Geophysical Union Hydrology Section business meeting in December.

The title of Tennant’s paper was “Regional sensitivities of seasonal snowpack to elevation, aspect, and vegetation cover in western North America” and it included three ISU geosciences faculty as co-authors, Kathleen Lohse, Sarah Godsey and Ben Crosby. It included data collected at the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory in Southwest Idaho.

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ISU/CAES Professor Leslie Kerby Team’s Wins IEEE Big Data, IEEE Brain Hackathon at International Conference in Tokyo

IDAHO FALLS – Idaho State University and Center for Advanced Energy Studies Assistant Professor Leslie Kerby was on the winning team of the IEEE Big Data, IEEE Brain Hackathon at COMPSAC 2018 in Tokyo, Japan.

“It was fun to apply my data science skills to a real-world problem, in real-time, and be recognized as doing an excellent job at it,” Kerby said. 

IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and COMPSAC stands for Computer Society Signature Conference on Computers, Software and Applications. The theme for COMPSAC 2018, held this summer in July, was “Staying Smarter in a Smartening World.”

Kerby lived true to the theme, competing on a team that included Frederic Andres, with the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, and Joey Costoya, senior researcher at Trend Micro Incorporated at National Capital Region, Philippines.

The objective of the Hackathon was to address the “Big Data" variety challenges in a smartening world. Big Data is a collection of data that is incredibly large, complex, distributed, and fast-growing. It has been known for unlocking new sources of economic values, providing fresh insights into sciences, and assisting on policy making. However, Big Data is not practically consumable until it can be aggregated and integrated into a manner that a computer system can process, according to the IEEE.

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ISU Museum of  Natural History Researchers Receive Grant to Digitally Collect 50 of the World’s Largest Animals

 POCATELLO  – Whales, elephants and bears, oh my! – A team of scientific Noahs at the Idaho Museum of Natural History at Idaho State University has been tasked to digitally collect the skeletons of 50 of the largest animals in the world.

The arc, in this analogy, is the National Science Foundation’s efforts to make 3D scans of all the major vertebrates, animals that have skeletons, available online to researchers and educators.

Technicians from the museum’s Idaho Virtualization Laboratory, which received a $175,000 grant from the NSF, will travel to the University of California, Berkeley, California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology in Boston over two years to make 3D scans of whales, hippos, elephants, rhinos and other large animals.

            “We are excited about getting out there and scanning these animals, a lot of which no one else in the world has ever scanned,” said Leif Tapanila, director of the Idaho Museum of Natural History. “It is totally fresh, brand-new stuff. Once you’ve created those digital files, the sky is the limit on how they are used for educators, researchers and others.”

The Idaho Museum of Natural History’s efforts will be led by Jesse Pruitt, Idaho Virtualization Laboratory manager and tech specialist, who will oversee teams of ISU students who will use laser scanners to make 3D digital models of all the bones of 50 different large animals. The ISU students working on this project in the field and in the Idaho Virtualization Laboratory include graduate students and undergraduate Career Path Interns.

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