Honoring University Research Professor Carrie Oser

Photo of Carrie Oser
Carrie Oser is passionate about conducting rigorous high-impact research to improve the lives of individuals with substance use disorders. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

UKNow is highlighting the University of Kentucky’s 2022-23 University Research Professors. Established by the Board of Trustees in 1976, the professorship program recognizes excellence across the full spectrum of research, scholarship and creative endeavors at UK. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 27, 2022) Carrie Oser, Ph.D., the DiSilvestro Endowed Professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, has been named one of 14 University Research Professors. 

The 2022-2023 University Research Professorship Awards honor faculty members who have demonstrated excellence that addresses scientific, social, cultural and economic challenges in the Commonwealth, across the region and around the world. 

Individuals who displayed merit in research and scholarly activity within their area of expertise were nominated based on criteria developed by college leadership. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000. 

Oser is the associate director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation and associate director of the Substance Use Priority Research Area within the Office of the Vice President for Research. She also served as the interim associate dean for research in UK Arts and Sciences. Her other administrative roles include service as the associate department chair (2017-2021) and the inaugural co-director of the Health, Society, and Populations program — an interdisciplinary health-focused social science undergraduate major (2014-2017).

As a health criminologist, Oser is passionate about conducting rigorous high-impact research to improve the lives of individuals with substance use disorders (SUD).

“It’s a true honor to be recognized as a University Research Professor,” she said. “Substance use has personally touched my life, as several individuals in my family and friendship circles have SUDs. I’m proud to say most of my loved ones are in recovery or long-term remission, but one person did not get the medical help they needed resulting in a fatal overdose. This was preventable. These factors are the impetus for my career goal of increasing the number of people with SUDs who can live a productive, meaningful life.”

Oser has received numerous accolades and awards for her mentorship of more than 50 graduate students and early career-stage faculty, with a commitment to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. As an addiction health services scholar, she leads interdisciplinary teams in conducting rigorous high-impact research to improve the lives of individuals with substance use disorders and promote health equity.

Additionally, Oser has been continuously funded as a principal investigator for more than 15 years by the National Institutes of Health on seven awards totaling more than $7 million and as a co-investigator on awards totaling more than $135 million using epidemiological longitudinal cohort, social network, implementation science, community-engaged research and intervention approaches.

Oser has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and her work has been featured in national media outlets. She has also provided congressional testimony and advised policymakers on best practices related to substance use disorder treatment.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.