Senior NIH Strategist to Deliver UMass Amherst Libraries’ Open Access Week Keynote

The UMass Amherst Libraries celebrate Open Access Week 2022 with a virtual keynote address by Micah Vandegrift, senior user experience (UX) strategist for the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH)  All of Us Research Program, on Monday, Oct. 24, at 4 p.m. Registration is required for the event.

Vandegrift’s virtual talk, “Open to Change: Possibilities and Probabilities,” addresses current opportunities at the intersection of climate change, open science, and community engagement, in light of the updated policy to make the results of taxpayer-supported research immediately available to the American public at no cost. Vandegrift will outline a possible case study informed by his experience and recent research, provide a foundation and a forecast, and answer questions following his talk.   

Prior to his NIH appointment in March 2022, Vandegrift was North Carolina State University's Open Knowledge Librarian, where he developed programs, projects and communities to inspire publicly-engaged research and scholarship. Between 2021 and 2022, he co-organized the Open Climate Data Science Workshop with several North Carolina state agencies. Vandegrift also studied open science policy and infrastructure in The Netherlands and Denmark as a Fulbright-Schuman Research Fellow in 2018-19 and previously worked as the director of Digital Scholarship at Florida State University. 

This year’s International Open Access Week theme is “Open for Climate Justice.” Tackling the climate crisis requires the rapid exchange of knowledge across geographic, economic, and disciplinary boundaries.   

“With a distinguished career in public service and keen insight into how Open Science plays a role in addressing pressing challenges of the day, Micah has a breadth and depth of knowledge about policies and technologies that address real-world problems, including our collective climate crisis,” says Nandita Mani, dean, UMass Amherst Libraries. “The Libraries are delighted to welcome Micah to lead this important community conversation.” 

The Libraries have been celebrating Open Access Week since 2008 to encourage the unrestricted sharing of research results with everyone, everywhere, for the advancement and enjoyment of science and society.