The INterdisciplinary Exchange for Utah Science (NEXUS) is a research center that serves the University of Utah’s strategic research priorities. The mission of NEXUS is to address society's grand social challenges by promoting interdisciplinary research and team science.
Established in 2018, NEXUS has created innovative ways of addressing society's grand social challenges. Issues such as homelessness, healthcare, water scarcity, energy, air quality, aging and dementia, and immigration require perspectives ranging from politics to medicine, economics to the humanities, and psychology to engineering. The goal of NEXUS is to foster intellectual exchanges that allow new insights into complex challenges that meet a diverse set of human needs. Focus areas have historically included (1) social, economic and health disparities in vulnerable communities, (2) climate change, resilient environments, and well-being (3) communicating science to the community (4) mental health and (5) families and health. Going forward, NEXUS aims to be nimble such that the center could support a range of topical areas with an interdisciplinary focus.
NEXUS functions as a hub for key activities and connections. At the very core of NEXUS’ identity is programming, partnerships, and physical resources. We provide programming in a variety of important domains that have facilitated and support key partnerships on campus and are housed and supported by our stellar physical space. These resources are open to the campus community.
At NEXUS, collaborations are sparked through joint research resources, team building, data access, interdisciplinary conferences, research roundtables, dialogue series, writing retreats, and graduate and undergraduate training programs. NEXUS provides an environment at the University of Utah for interdisciplinary collaborations that span departments and colleges. NEXUS provides training in a wide range of research methods and innovative data collection methods across diverse research fields. Together, NEXUS affiliated researchers tackle the most pressing challenges facing our social and natural world, often translating findings into real world solutions for the local community and beyond.
The major goal in this area is to enhance data access and education. NEXUS leverages our ability to identify, use, and link large datasets to address the grand challenges of today and the future. The University of Utah has truly unparalleled datasets to address challenges from multiple perspectives. Some relevant data resources include:
- DIGIT Lab
- Utah Population Data Base
- All Payers Claim Data
- Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
Investigating Interdisciplinary Issues:
Our goal is to capitalize on team building and data access to generate new knowledge on interdisciplinary issues that leads to action. NEXUS has funded seed grants that that allowed University of Utah faculty to launch interdisciplinary research projects in less- explored, critical areas, with the goal of publication, securing ongoing funding, and further study.
Communicating Science to the Community:
NEXUS has engaged with the community with the Dialogue on Disparities series that brought together academic researchers, policymakers, and policy implementers around key focus topics. NEXUS will continue this type of activity to increase our mission in public engagement in broader impacts of scientific discovery; to be a leader in education about science data so that the public sector can better understand how to interpret data.
Collaborations and Community partners: