Rendering of the ISR-Thompson building addition, facing Division Street.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.--The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved moving forward with construction of a $29 million addition to the Institute for Social Research at its July meeting.
The five-level addition, which will be located on the Division Street side of ISR’s Thompson Street building, will add approximately 56,700 square feet to the existing ISR-Thompson building.
The Regents had previously approved a four-level addition, but the scope of the project was increased due to ISR’s continuing growth in programs and projects, including a significant increase in federally funded initiatives and a growing number of research and educational partnerships with foundations and corporations.
"This addition is more than a response to the institute’s pressing need for more space," said ISR Director James S. Jackson. "The addition will include new kinds of space that will position ISR to retain its long-time position of leadership in the fast-changing field of social science research."
According to Jackson, ISR’s traditional social science research portfolio has expanded to include the collection and analysis of environmental factors and biometric and biological data, including genetic material such as blood draws and saliva samples. These types of data are now routinely collected by large, ongoing ISR studies including the Health and Retirement Study and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, in addition to traditional responses to survey questionnaires. The new addition will include basement-level secure storage facilities for biospecimens and for secure data enclaves.
The building addition will also enhance ISR’s existing space configurations and technological infrastructure to promote the kind of collaborations that lie at the heart of increasingly interdisciplinary social science research. The expansion and an accompanying renovation of approximately 12,800 square feet of the existing building, to which the addition will be attached, will help to integrate ISR research programs and provide state-of-the-art facilities for communicating with national and international research partners.
This project is being supported in part from a $14.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health through Grant Number 1 C06 RR 029919-01, awarded as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Additional funding comes from the U-M Office of the Provost and ISR resources.
Construction is expected to start in August 2012 and to be completed in summer 2014.
Established in 1949, the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research is the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization, and a world leader in developing and applying social science methodology, and in educating researchers and students from around the world. ISR conducts some of the most widely cited studies in the nation, including the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, the American National Election Studies, the Monitoring the Future Study, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the Health and Retirement Study, the Columbia County Longitudinal Study and the National Survey of Black Americans. ISR researchers also collaborate with social scientists in more than 60 nations on the World Values Surveys and other projects, and the institute has established formal ties with universities in Poland, China and South Africa. ISR is also home to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the world’s largest digital social science data archive. , visit the ISR website at www.isr.umich.edu.