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Mission impact

with the University of Nebraska at Omaha

The Mission

Provide novel research, technology, training and expertise to improve the U.S. capability to deter, interdict and respond to strategic threats.


NSRI carries the DOD University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) designation on behalf of the University of Nebraska System (NU) and each NU campus. This designation is sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska. NU/NSRI is one of only 15 DOD UARCs in the country. It was established in 2012.

Project Highlights

UNO researchers can leverage the UARC indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle through NSRI to quickly get on contract with DOD agencies for projects in NSRI's mission area. They can also tap into NSRI staff expertise and networks to connect their research and ideas to DOD needs. In total, 11 UNO researchers have led or co-led projects for customers through NSRI.

Technology for monitoring, analyzing soldier readiness

Three men on a treadmill in front of a white background.

Led by Aaron Likens (left), assistant professor for the UNO Center for Research in Human Movement Variability, with support from Sara Myers, UNO associate vice chancellor for research and creative activity, this project is developing a digital readiness toolkit that analyzes soldier movement and physiological processes in real-time, empowering military leaders with objective data when making critical decisions for soldier well-being as well as mission success.

Ongoing DTRA chemical and biological defense projects

NSRI received $5 million in incremental funding throughout 2023 from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to continue several projects for countering weapons of mass destruction. The original $9.6 million award was established in 2021, and NSRI has worked with DTRA since 2018. Several NU researchers are contributing to these projects, including NSRI Fellow Dr. Paul Davis (pictured), UNO professor of biology.

NSRI Fellows

23 UNO researchers have joined the institute as NSRI Fellows to engage closer to NSRI's mission and staff. Faculty can be nominated by peers in November each year. They are then confirmed by campus research offices and appointed by NSRI leadership to apply their expertise to national security challenges. In 2023, 10 NSRI Fellows working groups formed to focus technical conversations and position expertise for opportunities. Fellows also lead and attend the annual NSRI Fellows Conference to engage with each other, current and former government sponsors and NSRI staff.

  • T. Lynne Barone, sociology and anthropology
  • Michelle Black, political science
  • Chris Burcal, health and kinesiology
  • Elizabeth Chalecki, political science
  • Paul Davis, biology
  • Paul Denton, biology
  • Austin Doctor, political science
  • Robin Gandhi, information sciences and technology
  • Dario Ghersi, interdisciplinary informatics
  • George Grispos, interdisciplinary informatics
  • Deanna House, information systems & quantitative analysis
  • Samuel Hunter, industrial organizational psychology
  • Alexey Kamenskiy, biomechanics
  • Erin Kearns, criminology
  • Brian Knarr, biomechanics
  • William Kramer, industrial & organizational psychology
  • Aaron Likens, biomechanics
  • Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, mass communications
  • Jody Neathery-Castro, political science
  • Lana Obradovic, political science
  • Roni Reiter-Palmon, psychology
  • Ryan Riskowski, physics
  • Dustin White, economics

Search our publications database!

Curated to feature publications from NSRI Fellows  


A diverse group of military personnel, consisting of both men and women, wearing military uniforms and business suits at USSTRATCOM HQ, Offuftt AIr Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska

Students of NSRI

Students can contribute to direct-funded research projects and through NSRI's annual summer internship focused on strategic deterrence. In summer 2023, four UNO students participated as interns, briefing USSTRATCOM leadership in August.

Pictured left: 2023 NSRI strategic deterrence interns pictured with Brig. Gen. William Murphy at USSTRATCOM headquarters, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Pictured right: Calin Kachek, UNO graduate student in computer science, briefing Brig. Gen. Murphy.

Read Summary



Capabilities Spotlight: Biomechanics Research Building
The University of Nebraska at Omaha's world-class biomechanics facility helps keep soldiers ready
#NSRIFellow Feature: Dr. Ryan Riskowski
Assistant professor of physics at the University of Nebraska at Omaha


Three UNO Students Named NSRI Strategic Deterrence Interns
UNO Newsroom | NSRI Fellows Andrew Harms & Michelle Black

NSRI At A Glance

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$261 Million

Total awards
since 2012

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Total contracts and grants
since 2012

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NU principal investigators leading projects through NSRI since 2012

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Current, active projects
contracted through NSRI

Connect With NSRI

As the DOD-designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) of U.S. Strategic Command and the University of Nebraska System, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) delivers solutions for strategic deterrence and CWMD mission requirements gaps. Our rapid-response capabilities and efficient contracting vehicle can help federal government program managers meet critical research and development needs. Connect with us to learn more.

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