New universitywide strategy will amplify research, scholarship

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The University of Michigan will launch a new strategy to accelerate and amplify research and scholarship activity across disciplines so teams are positioned to rapidly address and solve critical challenges affecting communities worldwide.

President Santa J. Ono announced a phased strategy to amplify research and scholarship, which also aims to identify opportunities to recruit and reward faculty, as part of his Nov. 17 Leadership Welcome event.

“By investing in our community, and empowering our scholars, researchers and creative practitioners in their pursuit of multidisciplinary efforts, we can solidify the university’s position at the forefront of generating new knowledge and discoveries,” Ono said.

“As we do so, we will address key societal threats and improve the wellness, equity and vibrancy of our state, nation and world.”

The first phase of the universitywide strategy is designed to support researchers’ success in securing a broad and diverse funding portfolio so they can accelerate their work for broader societal impact.

The university also will invest in new tools and resources, as part of the first phase of the strategy, to strengthen collaboration and forecasting in pursuit of new multidisciplinary research frontiers.

Over the next year, in accordance with broader strategic visioning efforts, Ono will work closely with schools, colleges and units across U-M to embark on a second phase of the strategy.

The second phase will build upon foundational work already in progress, coupled with feedback from the U-M community, to identify ways to recruit 100 faculty members across disciplines and support professional growth among current faculty, further strengthening the university mission.

“This presidential strategy will be a thoroughly collaborative effort, enriched by the input and expertise of our faculty and staff, and informed by our students’ vision for the world they are inheriting,” Provost Laurie McCauley said.

“Cross-disciplinary cooperation will be a guiding principle as we continue to enhance our scholarly charge across the full spectrum of the university’s endeavors, from the sciences to the arts and humanities.”

To accelerate and amplify research and scholarship activity across the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, Ono charged the Office of the Vice President for Research with developing and implementing the first phase of the strategy.

This includes developing new programs that increase faculty competitiveness in pursuit of future awards from government, industry and foundations. OVPR also will employ advanced analytics to strategically support linking faculty to select funding opportunities.

In the first phase of the strategy, OVPR will collaborate with schools, colleges and units to identify opportunities for bolstering infrastructures across U-M to foster team formation and support researchers seeking large transformational grants. This purposeful scaffolding of support will generate new opportunities for collaboration so that diverse teams of faculty can advance transformative ideas.

The first phase of the strategy also is designed to support improved university forecasting of emerging priorities across government and industry so that U-M can align its strengths with opportunities on a local, national and global scale.

OVPR will partner with teams across the three U-M campuses to proactively and systematically identify new frontiers of knowledge for future investment that align with funding opportunities from the federal government, the largest sponsor of university research.

“Our excellence is a direct reflection of our innovative community, whose work advances knowledge, solves critical problems, creates new technologies and creative practice, and enhances quality of life,” said Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research.

“This strategy was developed specifically to support our university community in pursuit of research, scholarship and creative practice, providing them with additional tools and resources to reduce barriers, accelerate their important work across a changing landscape of federal and external funding, and amplify our impact worldwide. By creating purposeful connections, we can advance the wisdom of our collective community from the ground up.”

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