The first phase of the two-phase plan for the CUNY ASRC is a $350 million, 200,000-square-foot, five-story science center with flexible space for laboratories, meeting rooms and offices for approximately 75 professionals.
Each floor will be devoted to one of five strategically selected program areas, or initiatives: Nanotechnology, Photonics, Structural Biology, Neuroscience, and Environmental Crossroads. Although each program area will contain unique skills and capabilities, the ASRC mission and its physical structure support the intention of creating a highly collaborative research environment—a vertical integration of the horizontal blend of many disciplines.
The ASRC will be under the executive direction of Dr. Gillian Small, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research and an established cell biologist. She is building an experienced yet streamlined organization with the goal of creating efficient operations and innovative ideas. A total of 20 new faculty researchers will be recruited, including a director for each of the five initiatives.
The directors are being recruited nationally and they in turn will recruit three faculty researchers as ASRC scientists. Each of the new faculty will also have a faculty appointment at one of CUNY’s senior colleges, based on the best fit for their area of expertise. The directors will also facilitate the development of integrated research collaborations both within CUNY and between CUNY and peer institutions across New York State and the nation.
The first of the five program directors is Dr. Charles J. Vörösmarty, who will lead the Environmental Crossroads initiative. He is a water resources specialist recruited from the University of New Hampshire’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, where he founded and directed its Water Systems Analysis Group. Dr. Vörösmarty brings to the ASRC an international reputation for excellence in interdisciplinary environmental studies.
The ASRC will provide approximately $50 million worth of sophisticated equipment and staff support to researchers at the ASRC and from across CUNY. These resources will also be made available for a fee to external collaborators. High-end core facilities and instrumentation in the ASRC, never before available at CUNY, will allow scientists to expand the scope and scale of their research endeavors. The core facilities will include a Clean Room/Nanofabrication Center, Imaging facilities, Visualization Room, and a Rooftop Observatory.
The ASRC will also include a Science Discovery and Education Center that will serve as an important introduction to visitors to the ASRC. It will provide stunning, hands-on learning experiences for visitors ranging from students to distinguished guests. The Science Discovery and Education Center will help CUNY promote science education and awareness and be a visible link with the community.