Harvard University Provost Alan Garber today announced the appointment of a nationally recognized leader in interdisciplinary science, research, and entrepreneurship to serve as the University’s vice provost for research.

Prominent chemist Richard McCullough, currently vice president for research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, will assume his new post on Oct. 15. His portfolio will include interdisciplinary research, research administration and policy, and research funding.

“Richard McCullough will be in a special position at a unique moment to cultivate high-impact academic research in the 21st century, as he stimulates, coordinates, and supports research on campus,” Garber said. “He will work with the deans and faculty, the executive vice president, and me to remove barriers to collaboration wherever they are found — whether in University policies or financial and administrative systems. He will be responsible for developing structures to support new cross-School research initiatives as they are brought forward by the Schools, and to promote research throughout the University.”

During 22 years at Carnegie Mellon, McCullough also served as dean of the Mellon College of Science and as head of the department of chemistry.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected to help lead Harvard’s renowned research enterprise,” McCullough said. “I see my role as that of an advocate for, and facilitator of, Harvard’s increasing focus on interdisciplinary, cross-School exploration and development, and I am committed to addressing the need to find new sources of funding in an era of constricting federal support for research.”

The selection of McCullough follows a national search by a committee including Harvard deans, faculty members, and administrators. Garber said, “Members of the search advisory committee and top leaders in the University administration were impressed with McCullough’s skills, accomplishments, energy, and vision for the future.”

McCullough succeeds David Korn, a nationally respected expert and leader on issues related to faculty financial conflict of interest, who initiated the development of Harvard’s first University-wide financial conflict-of-interest policy, which provided guiding principles upon which each School has based its policy.

Besides his academic career at Carnegie Mellon, where he rose from assistant professor to become the university’s Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry and vice president for research, McCullough is the founder of two companies: Plextronics Inc., an 80-employee firm founded on a technology he developed, and Liquid X Printed Metals.

McCullough, whose research has principally been focused on developing printable electronic materials, other materials called regioregular polythiophenes, and nanoelectronic materials, earned a doctorate in organic chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. He joined Carnegie Mellon following a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University.