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Denis Gray

Emeritus Professor

Department of Psychology

Poe Hall 712


Denis O. Gray is Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor, Applied Social and Community Psychology Program, Department of Psychology, North Carolina State University. Dr. Gray’s research focuses on science and technology policy issues, particularly the outcomes and implications of cooperative research centers.  For the past twenty-five years he has led a unique, multi-faceted ‘improvement-focused’ evaluation of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) longest-running cooperative research center program, the Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC). See project website ( He has provided evaluation consultation for cooperative research projects in Mexico, Ireland, Australia, Thailand, Japan and Spain.  Dr. Gray has published extensively on academic science and cooperative research. His books include: Cooperative Research Centers and Technical Innovation: Government Policies, Industry Strategies and Organizational Dynamics. Springer Publishing (Business & Economics Group) (co-editor)(forthcoming); Innovation U.: New university roles in a knowledge economy (co-author); Managing the industry/university cooperative research center (Battelle Press) and Technological innovation: Strategies for a new partnership (Elsevier) (senior editor). He has worked as an evaluation-based advisor to over twenty cooperative research centers. A native of New York City (and former taxi cab driver), Dr. Gray received his B.S. in Psychology from Manhattan College. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Ecological/Community Psychology from Michigan State University.


Direct national research project on NSF’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers

Specific recent projects under the IUCRC program

Research Publications

Boardman, C., Gray, D.O. & Rivers, D. (2013). Cooperative Research Centers and Technical Innovation: Government Policies, Industry Strategies and Organizational Dynamics. Springer Publishing (Business & Economics Group).

Gray, D.O., Tornatzky, L.G. & Rideout, E. (2014). Introduction.  In Tornatzky, L.G., & Rideout, E.  Innovation U 2.0: Reinventing University Roles in a Knowledge Economy.  Raleigh, NC: Southern Growth Policy Board.

Rideout, E.C. & Gray, D.O. (2013). Does entrepreneurship education really work?  A review and methodological critique of the empirical literature on the effects of university-based entrepreneurship education. Journal of Small Business Management, 51,  329-351.

Gray, D.O. (2011). Cross-sector research collaboration in the USA: A national innovation systems perspective.  Science and Public Policy, 38, 123-133.

Gray, D.O., Sundstrom, E., Tornatzky, L.G. & McGowen, L. (2011).  When triple helix unravels: A multi-case analysis of failures in industry-university cooperative research centres. Industry & Higher Education, 25, 1-13.

Coberly, B. & Gray, D.O. (2010). Faculty satisfaction in industry-university research centers: A multivariate predictive analysis. Journal of Technology Transfer, 35, 547-563.

Gray, D.O. (2008). Making team science better:  Applying improvement-oriented evaluation principles to the evaluation of cooperative research centers. New Directions for Evaluation, 118, 73-87.

Toker, U. & Gray, D.O. (2008). Innovation spaces: Workspace planning and innovation in U.S. university research centers.  Research Policy, 37, 309-329.

Gray, D.O., Jakes, S., Emshoff, J. & Blakely, C. (2003). Dissemination and community psychology: A case of partial implementation?  Special Issues on Experimental Social Innovation and Dissemination. American Journal of Community Psychology. 32(4), 359-370

Gray, D.O., & Walters, S.G.  (Eds.) (1998).  Managing the industry-university cooperative research center:  A guide for directors and other stakeholders. Columbus, OH: Battelle Press.  Also published as: Gray, D.O., & Walters, G.W.  (Eds.) (1997).  Managing the industry-university cooperative research center:  A guide for center directors.  Washington, D.C.:  National Science Foundation.

Funded Research

National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Evaluation Project

US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Technology Transfer Project Evaluation

Area(s) of Expertise

Innovation process including both social/organizational and technological innovation. Particular interest in partnerships between universities and outside stakeholders.