A new Research Priority Area at the University of Kentucky will seed innovation, fuel industry solutions and create a unifying identity for faculty, staff and students in materials science. Starting July 1, 2023, UK Research will fund a new Materials Science Research Priority Area, the eighth designated Research Priority Area (RPA) for UK. From medicine and manufacturing to automotive and aerospace applications, materials are vital to the future of Kentucky’s economy. Read more.

Why Establish a Materials RPA?

  • Materials research is broad and highly interdisciplinary
  • Materials research is as an enabling science & technology area
  • The development and application of new materials (writ broadly) underpin vast segments of scientific & technological progress, significantly impacting the US economy and national competitiveness
  • Opportunity in Kentucky and at UK for synergistic competitive advantage in research and innovation, by expanding transdisciplinary infrastructure and expertise in materials science (engineering, chemistry, biomaterials, etc.)
  • Support the Kentucky economy
  • Materials characterization is an essential part of materials research
  • Growth and demand of use of Electron Microscopy Center (EMC).


The University of Kentucky Materials Science Research Priority Area will serve as a unifying force for materials research across campus, Kentucky and our region. The RPA will expand the breadth and financial impact of UK’s materials research portfolio. The Materials RPA will provide leadership and support for materials science and engineering activity, serving as a hub for fundamental and applied materials research that advances scholarship and supports technological advancements in industry.



The University of Kentucky will become a nationally recognized leader in materials research that spans numerous disciplines. The RPA will support UK’s diverse set of colleges, centers and institutes, by strengthening the trajectory of materials research and enabling new collaborations that leverage this diversity.