The Owens institute for Behavioral Research was founded in 1970 by William A. Owens, Jr. He began the institute with the twin goals of fostering interdisciplinary research and enhancing scholarship in the social and behavioral sciences at the University of Georgia. Bill Owens, who was fondly called “Doc”, foresaw the shift from single discipline “method focused” research to interdisciplinary “problem focused” research.
Over time OIBR has grown in both size and scope. The institute now has over 170 affiliated faculty representing 45 academic units, six research centers and numerous work groups which provide opportunities for focused discussion and interdisciplinary collaboration. More recently, OIBR has broadened its traditional interdisciplinary foci to include a trans-disciplinary focus on genetics and neuroscience.
There is greater emphasis on the role of extramural funding in developing and maintaining outstanding scholarship in the social and behavioral sciences.
OIBR plays an essential role in facilitating both interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary scholarship by mentoring junior faculty as well as supporting established scientists in their pursuit of research.