Goal 4 - Research
Enhance discovery at a level consistent with most research-intensive universities (Carnegie R1)
Delivering opportunity to North Dakota by diversifying its economy and addressing societal grand challenges demands through cutting-edge research.
Goal 4 Progress
Metric 4 - Research Funding
Goal by 2022
[$120] million – internal and external funding sources
Define by year
Vice President of Research & Economic Development (VPRED)
Goal 4 Grand Challenges
- Promote energy security and environmental sustainability
- Address health challenges through basic, clinical and translational discovery
- Help rural communities solve their unique health and social problems
- Drive the world-changing developments of autonomous systems and do so in a way that reflects UND’s values
- Effectively, efficiently and ethically produce, manage and securely use information in the age of big data
Goal 4 Action Steps
Action Step 4.1: Designate champions to assemble representatives from select colleges in order to define and drive research goals for each grand challenge.
Grand Challenges and Champions
- Promote energy and environmental sustainability (Champion: Charles Gorecki)
- Address health challenges through basic, clinical and translational discovery (Champion: Colin Combs)
- Help rural communities solve their unique health and social problems (Champion: Thomasine Heitkamp)
- Drive the world-changing developments of UAS and do so in a way that reflects UND’s values (Champion: Mark Askelson (Interim))
- Effectively, efficiently, and ethically produce, manage, and securely use information in the age of Big Data (Champion: Brian Tande)
Action Step 4.1a: Designate and define diversified faculty teams to articulate grand challenge goals within each area.
- Completion of qualified faculty team formation
- Faculty team demonstrates disciplinary diversity within their grand challenge area, completion by June 30, 2018.
- Diverse team ensures access to greater funding opportunities
- Ensures the university’s faculty are broadly included in the grand challenge process
Action Step 4.1b: Create realistic yet ambitious annually adjusted faculty external funding and scholarly output goals linked to the grand challenge areas.
- Extramural funding levels within the grand challenge areas
- Scholarly outputs, including, but not limited to:
- Journal articles
- Conference proceedings and reports
- Performances and exhibitions
- National rankings improve
- Increased institutional prestige
- Improved university reputation within funding agencies, enabling the institution to pursue increasingly larger grants
- Larger volume of extramural university funding
- Creation of a strong research culture at UND
Action Step 4.2: Accurately capture faculty time devoted to research through Page 2 with aim to redirect more faculty time to discipline level research productivity.
Action Step 4.2a: Create database listing 'page 2' % research effort; Academic Year salary and benefits; and additional salary and benefits for each faculty member and use data to calculate institutional expenditures in research and scholarship.
- Location in a single database:
- All faculty research effort recorded accurately
- Effort combined with salary and benefits data to produce institutional expenditures in research
- Accurate reporting of institutional support for research will help raise Carnegie ranking
- Understanding of departmental investment in faculty research activities will drive more intentionality in assigning effort levels in teaching, research and service.
- Further recognition for the State of North Dakota’s investments in higher education
Action Step 4.3: Recruit and retain star research faculty and staff in areas of study related to grand challenges.
Action Step 4.3a: Identify one high-impact research area for development
Measurement 4.3a.1: Validation of high-impact research areas through consultation with external academic and private sector experts
Anticipated Benefit: Confirmation that choice of research areas is appropriate, thereby providing justification to stakeholders for long-term investment
Action Step 4.3b. Ensure infrastructure that is needed to attract top talent is available and is supported
- Inventory all current equipment
- Inventory all current support personnel
- Inventory all gaps in infrastructure and identify funds to address gaps
Anticipated Benefit: Demonstration that university is appropriately resourced to launch 'star' faculty recruitment
Action Step 4.3c: Develop and launch cluster recruitment strategy to create a highly integrated collaborative team of researchers that provides both depth and breadth in chosen research area from 4.3a.
- Launch of recruitment process.
- Successful recruitment of several faculty.
- Faculty recruited to have current, substantial external research funding before arrival at UND
- More external funding
- Increased high-impact scholarly output
- Increase in Ph.D. candidates/degrees conferred
- More post-doctoral researchers
- Retaining of qualified faculty which will thus produce a cultural reputation to attract other highly qualified researchers in the future
Action Step 4.4: Increase the number of non-faculty post-doctoral researchers in support of grand challenges.
Action Step 4.4a: Improve and expand seed funding programs including post-doctoral program, aimed at grand challenges
- Increased external funding
- Increased scholarly outputs
- More successful proposals in response to large dollar solicitations
- Increased high impact scholarly outputs
- Improved reputation for the institution
- Greater capability of faculty to pursue large grants that require long-term labor
Action Step 4.5: Identify and grow select high-potential research-based PhD programs supportive of grand challenges.
Action Step 4.5a: Analyze national demand for Ph.D. graduates in grand challenge areas
Measurement 4.5a.1: Complete analysis of nationally-competitive Ph.D. programs
Anticipated Benefit: Confirmation that choice of Ph.D. programs for growth and investment is appropriate
Action Step 4.5b: Create and implement effective Ph.D. student recruiting strategies
- Complete analysis of nationally competitive Ph.D. programs
- Number of Ph.D. students matriculating
- Increased quality and quantity of Ph.D. students
- Higher research activity, higher external funding levels
Action Step 4.5c: Ensure that allocation of graduate student assistantships and other resources is directed to in-demand Ph.D. programs
Measurement 4.5c.1: Number of Ph.D. students supported with assistantships/waivers.
- More Ph.D. students supported leading to more Ph.D. degrees conferred
- Higher research productivity, higher external funding
Action Step 4.5d: Ensure that Ph.D. stipends are competitive on a national level
Measurement 4.5d.1: Amount of stipend provided compared to data corresponding to other R1 and R2 universities
- More Ph.D. students supported leading to more Ph.D. degrees conferred
- Higher quality Ph.D. students recruited
- Time to degree shortened
Action Step 4.5e: Ensure that Ph.D. students conduct dissertation research with research-active faculty and staff
- Ph.D. students working with high productivity faculty (well funded, well published, active)
- Number of papers published by Ph.D.-level graduate students and doctoral candidates prior to graduation
- External funding performance of faculty
- Higher per-student scholarly productivity
- Faculty more successful obtaining funding
- Ph.D. graduates compete more successfully for high profile jobs in academia and industry
Action Step 4.6: Create department and college level expectations and evaluation criteria for discipline-dependent products of research, scholarship and creative activities and integrate into promotion, tenure and evaluation criteria.
Action Step 4.6a: Roll out university-wide utilization of Digital Measures software
Measurement 4.6a.1: Percentage of campus faculty using Digital Measures
Anticipated Benefit: Creates a foundation for easily reporting and quantifying scholarly output
Action Step 4.6b.: Departments to reach consensus on what constitutes high quality and high quantity scholarship/research, including external funding and scholarly products
- Department completion of internal quality metrics
- Dean/Provost signoff on metrics
- Affirmation of metrics through external review
- Recognition of high faculty performance
- Enables the university to make well-informed strategic decisions for investments in research
- Provides an objective framework for tenure and promotion decisions
Action Step 4.6c: Use productivity metrics in consultation between deans/chairs and faculty about research effort on page 2
- Articulation of research productivity expectations relative to a specific numerical percentage on faculty page 2’s
- Ease of adjustment of page 2 effort on an annual basis in response to changes in productivity
- Creation of a balanced workload for all faculty, recognizing the dual university missions of research and instruction
- Larger volume of submissions for extramural funding which will concomitantly increase extramural funding
- Enables a greater number of scholarly outputs within a given time frame
Action Step 4.7: Invest in high performance computing, cyber security and data analytic capabilities and infrastructure.
Action Step 4.7a: Develop thorough and systematic knowledge of university computational needs
- Completed input gathering from current big data researchers on their computational needs and desires
- Analysis of external research on academic and corporate computational needs in the medium and long terms
- Ensuring investments are properly allocated
- Provide a deeper institutional knowledge about collaborative opportunities
- Use of information in star faculty recruiting
Action Step 4.7b: Calibrate university needs through discussion with external reviewers
- Stature of external collaborators in terms of expertise, knowledge of industry need, knowledge of broader academic shifts
- Receipt of functional written product from authoritative external sources
Anticipated Benefit: UND computational investment plan affirmed/justified by external review
Action Step 4.7c. Acquire necessary hardware and software and recruit appropriate support staff.
- Hardware/software acquisition
- Support staff recruitment
- High quality computational capabilities created
- High quality faculty recruiting
- Higher external funding