Because competition for decreasing Federal funding is increasingly stiff, institutions across the nation are investing in research development activities that help them diversify and remain relevant in the funding arena. Miami is no exception.
Research development is a set of strategic plans and activities designed to increase the capacity of individual researchers, teams, and institutions to be more competitive in attracting extramural funding.
Research development extends beyond identifying sources for external funding. It begins with long-term positioning of individuals, teams, and institutions to be competitive for funding. Examples of research development include:
- Strategic planning by the faculty, departmental and college administration, and central research administration
- Team-building to leverage individual strengths to tackle a common problem
- Assessment of funding opportunities for fit with institutional strengths (such as being a leader in undergraduate research and education)
- Seed funding to build teams and collect data to increase the likelihood of extramural funding
- Developing partnerships with local business and industry
- Mentoring for faculty new to grant writing
- Peer review of proposals prior to submission
- Facilitation of collaborations between departments, colleges, and entities outside the institution
- Proposal editing and assistance with proposal writing/development
Research development at Miami
Effective proposal development cannot happen in isolation. In OARS, we are working to expand our current research development offerings to include:
- A research office that promotes strong connections among faculty and between graduate and undergraduate research and that creates an exceptional “hands-on” learning environment
- Incentives for departments, colleges, and centers to increase proposal submissions
- Facilitation of internal and external partnerships that can enhance opportunities for external funding, technology transfer, entrepreneurial research, and economic development
- Identification of teams and existing infrastructure that can support “the next big thing”
- Enhanced research infrastructure and greater visibility of that infrastructure throughout the state and nation
- A diverse funding portfolio that taps into new sources of external funding to offset diminishing Federal funds
- A partnership with the Center for Teaching Excellence to assist faculty with finding a balance between teaching, service, and research
- A peer mentoring program for proposal development and review
- Enhanced visibility for the activities of Miami’s research centers and institutes to potential internal and external partners
Moving the research enterprise forward
To reach our goals, we will need to partner with faculty and departmental and college administrators. We will also need to expand support for research and grant activities throughout the institution. To these ends, OARS has developed an aggressive strategic plan, which if implemented should help us move toward and even beyond our 2020 Plan goal for external funding. We are actively working with the provost, the academic deans, and University Advancement to turn the strategic plan into an action plan. Elements of these plans are aligned with university academic priorities and they address many of the new initiatives proposed by President Crawford. More information will be provided later in the academic year.
Written by Tricia Callahan, Director, Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, Miami University.
Wrench photo by Tookapic via Pexels. Multi-tool photo by Armchair via Wikimedia Commons. Both used under Creative Commons license.