Bevins named associate vice chancellor for research

Leadership News

Ashley Washburn, March 3, 2023

Bevins named associate vice chancellor for research

The Office of Research and Economic Development has named Rick Bevins as associate vice chancellor for research, with a focus on coordinating and facilitating planning for research initiatives and other programs that support faculty in their research and creative endeavors.

He assumed the role in January after serving in an interim capacity since 2020. Bevins has helped advance the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s $40 million Grand Challenges initiative, bringing his expertise as a review panelist with the National Institutes of Health  to co-develop the request for proposals and the peer review process for the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition. He also reinstated ORED’s Research Advisory Board, giving faculty an additional avenue for providing feedback on opportunities and challenges related to carrying out research, scholarly and creative activity.

Bevins, the Chancellor’s Professor of psychology, built his research program around pharmacology, drug use and addiction science. He has earned numerous grants from NIH and NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the connections between an individual’s experience, drug use, addiction and treatment. Bevins directs the Rural Drug Addiction Research Center, established in 2019 as an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence to leverage Nebraska researchers’ expertise in studying the causes and impacts of drug use and misuse in Nebraska and surrounding states.

“ORED has been fortunate to have Rick serving in a senior leadership role for the past three years, and I’m thrilled that he is continuing this position in an expanded capacity,” said Bob Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development. “His ORED colleagues value his input as a faculty member and an established researcher. With his success in securing external funding and interest in building partnerships across disciplines, Rick is a resource and mentor for faculty who aspire to grow their own research programs.”

As associate vice chancellor, Bevins’ responsibilities include:

  • Working with faculty, researchers, center and institute directors and associate deans of research to promote the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s research mission through the development and support of collaborative initiatives and research excellence across disciplines.
  • Partnering with administrators to represent research, scholarship, creative and economic development activities in matters relating to faculty.
  • Serving as ORED’s point of contact with the Office of Graduate Studies, especially on matters relating to campus support for postdocs.
  • Establishing and growing innovative and mutually beneficial partnerships across the University of Nebraska campuses.
  • Leading ORED’s Research Advisory Board.
  • Promoting and cultivating grant proposal activity, with an emphasis on biomedical, social, behavioral and educational research.
  • Designing and implementing strategies to support the university’s diversity and inclusive excellence objectives.

Bevins is continuing his RDAR leadership role and associated research and service duties in the Department of Psychology.

Bevins holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Jacksonville State University, a doctorate in neuroscience and behavior from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and completed a postdoc in psychopharmacology and substance abuse from the University of Kentucky. He joined the Nebraska faculty in 1996 and served as chair of psychology from 2012 to 2020. Bevins also founded the Minority Health Disparities Initiative in 2014, which he still co-directs.

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