News & Press Releases.

Posted June 23, 2008

COLUMBIA, MO - University of Missouri Provost Brian Foster announced today that Robert Duncan has been appointed as vice chancellor for research at MU, effective Sept. 1. Currently, Duncan is the chief operating officer of the New Mexico Consortium, an organization that uses the strengths of New Mexico's research universities to build scientific connections around the world; and founding director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Los Alamos National Lab.

Robert Duncan.

Robert Duncan

"Research is a key component of economic development for the university, the community and the state," Foster said. "During his visits, Dr. Duncan was enthusiastically received by members of the university, business community and others who met with him. He received wide support for his enthusiasm and his broad vision for research and economic development at MU."

Duncan received his bachelor's degree in physics from MIT in 1982 and his doctorate in physics from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1988. He has served as an associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico (UNM), visiting associate professor of physics at Caltech, joint associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at UNM, professor of physics and astronomy at UNM, and associate dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNM.

"It's wonderful to become a resident of Missouri again," said Duncan, who is a native of St. Joseph, Mo. "I want to come to work every day committed to continuing the research success at the University of Missouri. The state-wide economic impact of the university's research is more than $440 million. This is an accomplishment of Mizzou's extremely productive faculty. I'm honored to become a part of this exciting research program."

As an expert in low temperature physics, Duncan has conducted research that will provide critical information for future NASA missions. He has worked to fund major conferences and summer schools in quantitative biology, information science and technology, energy and environment, and astrophysics and cosmology. To date, he has received more than $8 million in funding from various sources, including NASA, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Science Foundation.

Duncan is a fellow and life member of the American Physical Society, was named a Gordon and Betty Moore Distinguished Scholar at Caltech in 2004 and 2005, and was named chair of the Instrumentation and Measurement Topical Group for the American Physical Society in 2002. He also received the meritorious achievement award at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico in 1994.

The MU vice chancellor for research provides leadership for MU's research operation. Last year, scientists and scholars at MU received more than $189 million in external sponsorship, the highest total in the university's history. Over the past decade, MU has led the nation in growth rates for federal support of research and scholarship. The Office of Research oversees the Office of Sponsored Programs, nine research centers, the MU Technology Management and Industry Relations Program and the Office of Animal Research.

Duncan replaces Jim Coleman, who left last year to become vice provost for research at Rice University in Houston.