OIRED: Our International Mission
The Office of International Research, Education, and Development (OIRED) links Virginia Tech to the world. We support the university’s international mission by leading projects that raise the standard of living in developing countries. The office has a research portfolio of $58 million, most of which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
Research is a key component of development. What works? What doesn’t? What kind of bean grows best in a given soil? If women are given more control over assets, will this raise a family’s income? OIRED manages projects in developing countries that look at these issues, dealing with such things as integrated pest management (looking at how to maximize crop yields while minimizing effects to the environment), improving agricultural education at the university level, and training a new generation in skills they will need in a competitive, technology-driven job market.
Recent highlights of our work include:
- Program assists in post-earthquake recovery in Nepal: An agricultural development program offers immediate and long-term earthquake relief.
- Director receives prestigious award: Muni Muniappan, world-renowned entomologist and director of the Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab, received the Award for Scientific Excellence at the 2014 World Food Prize.
- Program spurs change in Senegalese law: In December 2014, the Senegalese government passed a law requiring universities to include community service as part of their mission – a direct result of the work of Virginia Tech’s Education and Research in Agriculture in Senegal project. The Senegalese Minister of Higher Education credited Virginia Tech with inspiring this new orientation of universities toward the communities they serve.
- Program helps workforce in Armenia transition to market economy: A program in Yerevan gives young Armenians skills to help them get jobs in a new economy.