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High-tech startup adds top research development talent/cognitive psychologist

May 9, 2019 - Over a 19-year career in academic research development and leadership, Dr. Alicia Knoedler has helped scientists, researchers, and creators grow and innovate at large research institutions, including the University of Oklahoma, Penn State University, and the University of Notre Dame. Now she is a key resource in the Oklahoma City technology ecosystem after joining high-tech startup Exaptive as the Director of Team Innovation.

Dr. Alicia Knoedler, Exaptive's Director of Team Innovation

Exaptive develops software tools that help researchers form more innovative teams and exchange knowledge in ways that lead to impact. Its customers include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the European Union’s climate innovation initiative, Climate-KIC. Dave King, CEO of Exaptive, reflects on Dr. Knoedler’s impact, “Alicia is going to be a huge resource for our customers as they take on the world’s biggest challenges. Whether it’s public health in developing countries or climate change, they need to know how to maximize the power of their research communities to have an impact as soon as possible. Alicia will be taking what she did at the university level and enabling it to happen on a global scale.”

Dr. Knoedler applies her academic experience and her doctorate in cognitive psychology to inform how algorithms can suggest new research collaborations. Using technology to support human intelligence allows that intelligence to scale and to be data-driven, with more data than research communities could incorporate without technology. “I am excited to explore and implement evidence-based ideas in team science across multiple cross-disciplinary teams whose research serves to impact globally-relevant issues,” reflects Dr. Knoedler. “Working with Exaptive provides exciting challenges and opportunities to design measurable and broadly implementable approaches that enable research teams to accelerate their work together.”

Dr. Knoedler holds a B.A. in psychology from Trinity University (San Antonio), and an M.S. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Purdue University. She is a founding member and former President and Board Member of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP). She is member of the National Science Foundation’s Business and Operations Advisory Committee and is Vice-Chair of NSF’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE). Dr. Knoedler also serves to broaden participation in academic research leadership through programs in partnership with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Council on Research.

Dr. Knoedler is an expert on topics related to team cognition, collaborative behavior, research development, and research leadership. To request an interview, email