Dr. Robert (Bob) Houser has served as the Assistant Vice President for Research & Sponsored Programs since July 2016, and previously as Acting Assistant Vice President and Executive Director of Sponsored Programs since September 2014. Dr. Houser came to the AVPR position with a strong background in research, grant writing, and leadership, having served previously at UNC as the Associate Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences (NHS). His primary responsibilities at NHS were in faculty affairs and research development. Dr. Houser also holds the rank of Professor in UNC’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Prior to coming to UNC, Dr. Houser gained valuable experience in both faculty and administrative roles at the University of Oklahoma, where he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1999 and served as Assistant Chair of the department from 2006 to 2010. Specializing in synthetic inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry, he has a distinguished research record, authoring or co-authoring more than 40 research publications, most of which have been collaborative works with students and postdoctoral scholars, and has garnered more than $1.8 million in extramural research funding as PI or co-PI. Among his extramural support has been a highly regarded CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and an NSF grant for an X-ray diffractometer with UNC co-PIs Robin Macaluso and Mike Mosher in 2014.
Dr. Houser earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Colorado State University in 1987 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology with Professor Jacqueline K. Barton from 1996 to 1999. His non-academic leadership and administrative experience includes more than four years as an active duty U.S. Army officer from 1987 to 1991.