Common Vision

Common Vision Inquiry

Common Vision

Common Vision is a new initiative established by Huck and MRI to harness the power of interdisciplinary collaboration to address critical challenges in the Life Sciences, Energy, Materials, Medicine, Engineering, and the Environment.
In 2017, we will be kicking off this initiative by making expertise and instrumentation in MRI more discoverable and available to life scientists.

Historically, researchers in engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences operated in independent disciplinary silos.  However, these fields are now converging, and this phenomenon has been described by some as a blueprint for innovation – a rethinking of how all scientific research is conducted to capitalize on a wide range of knowledge focused on a common problem. 

Convergence is not dependent on any one particular scientific advance but on a new integrated approach for achieving advances. One outcome of convergence is the translation of the tools and methodologies from one discipline to another. This translation can transform disciplines as the tools are modified and optimized for new applications. In fact, a “Third Revolution” in life sciences research is described in part as the translation of tools developed in the physical sciences and engineering to the life sciences (National Academy of Sciences 2014: Convergence Video & Report).

To support an ecosystem where convergence-minded activities flourish, the Huck Institutes and the Materials Research Institute have established the “Common Vision” initiative. This initiative has two primary goals: 1) raise awareness of the novel imaging techniques available to life scientists within the Materials Characterization Lab 2) Provide matching funds that enable life sciences PI’s to collaborate with technical staff to collect novel proof-of-concept data.

How to Participate


If you would like to learn how a particular technique could benefit your research, please fill out the form below to schedule a time for a technical staff member to visit your research group meeting. This visit will provide a brief introduction to a given technique, as well as highlight various potential applications relevant to your research. These techniques include:  TOF-SIMS, Raman, AFM, Ion/Electron microscopy, analytical and in situ TEM, and Infrared spectroscopy ( see ).


Consult with technical staff and decide if a proof-of-concept experiment is worth pursuing.  If so, collaborate with technical staff to write a brief statement of work (~ 1 paragraph + budget).  The Huck Institutes will provide 50% matching funds (total match will not exceed $500).  Proposals will be reviewed by Huck (Jim Marden / Nigel Deighton) and MCL (Josh Stapleton) with decisions being made in <48 hours from receipt.