Research Interest Groups (RIGs)

RIG banner

Research Interest Groups (RIGs) help connect PIs across campus to build interdisciplinary teams. Topics, research questions, and goals are all driven by members of the RIGs. Are you looking for a researcher with specific subject matter expertise? Do you want to form a team around a special research interest? RIGs are a great way to mobilize a team with shared or complementary expertise and goals. Staff in the Office of the Vice President for Research will assist with coordination and communications, so that your team can focus on the collaboration and research goals.

Click on the RIGs below to learn more. If you would like to engage with one or more of the below RIGs or have any questions, contact us at

Research Interest Groups

The Office of the Vice President for Research is collaborating with Sandia National Laboratories to help bridge connections for researchers and tackle big issues in Artificial Intelligence (AI). While excitement about AI continues to grow, the slowing of Moore’s Law and computational costs of AI algorithms pose challenges to leveraging AI across multiple applications. The current neural networks revolution in AI, which has led to advanced solutions for tasks ranging from image classification to natural language processing, has been fed by significant advances in computing power, and the availability of nearly endless training data. The ever-increasing scale of neural network models has ballooned the energy and monetary costs of AI research. In addition, unlimited data looks to be increasingly vulnerable to concerns over privacy and security, and the significant costs of data collection and management. For these reasons, there is a growing need for novel data-efficient AI solutions that can achieve cognitive capabilities, while leveraging low-power hardware, such as neuromorphic systems. The Bio-Inspired Computing RIG aims to use inspiration from the brain to inspire novel approaches to computing architectures and artificial intelligence.

Email us at with any questions.

The Earth Science RIG invites cross-disciplinary discussions that could lead to novel and exciting avenues of collaborative research. UT has a wide array of researchers involved in space borne observations, including engineers studying and designing instruments and systems, to scientists analyzing observations for the study of everything from ecology to geology, and beyond.

RIG Executive Member: Srinivas Bettadpur

The Health Informatics RIG provides an interdisciplinary forum for researchers to explore and collaborate around the topic of information and communication technologies that intersect with health and well-being across the lifespan. It seeks to balance and integrate efforts from the technological aspects of health informatics and those from the social, behavioral, and design aspects, particularly as related to age, culture, and community.

RIG Chair: Bo Xie

The Imaging and Analysis RIG provides a forum for researchers across the spectrum of visual data analysis, from those who develop improved imaging methods to those who utilize imaging and visual analysis in their field. This RIG provides opportunity to exchange ideas, explore collaborations, organize for interdisciplinary funding opportunities, present early findings, and develop a research network across traditional departmental boundaries.

RIG Chair: Paul Navrátil

The Sensors RIG is a multidisciplinary group of researchers with interests in sensor materials, methods, devices and sensor applications for healthcare, environment, civil, petroleum, chemical industries and military applications. This group provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, present early findings, and explore collaborations and interdisciplinary funding opportunities. RIG’s aims are to connect sensor technologies, middleware and applications, and to provide an interface between academic and industrial research. Our members have backgrounds in the physical and biological sciences, technology, medical research, and social sciences.

RIG Chair: Tanya Hutter

The Space Mission RIG network convenes likeminded researchers at UT for the enterprise of research from space platforms. Space missions offer research opportunities in many fields: astronomy and planetary science, space science, atmospheric physics, geoscience, fundamental physics, communications and tech development, archaeology, precision navigation, studies of the built environment, agriculture, ecology, and more. Work on such missions also produces extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary education and for the development of marketable skills in our graduate students. The quickening pace of industrial use of space and the advances in small satellite technology are introducing changes in the way we can use space missions for different types of research. Join the RIG network and collaborate with a diverse group of researchers to bring about advances in science and technology for space research.

RIG Executive Member: Srinivas Bettadpur

The Spinal Cord Injury RIG is a multidisciplinary group that extends across institutions in Austin and the surrounding area. Investigators are involved in a broad range of spinal cord injury research extending from rodent and primate models, to brain-machine interfaces, and to robotic exoskeleton design and control. A focus of the group is translational research to implement innovative interventions in the lived environment that improve health outcomes. This group meets to share and discuss current research interests, collaborations, and the needs of the spinal cord injury community and clinical practitioners.

RIG Executive Member: Lisa Griffin

Do you have a research topic in mind but there are no groups on campus that can serve as a base for convening researchers and receiving or distributing relevant info? Start a RIG! You can lead the group and the Office of the Vice President for Research will assist with your goals and efforts.

Email with the following information:

  • Research topic
  • A brief description of your vision and goals for the RIG
  • List of potential members, research interests, or expertise needed