Primary Goal: Elevate UMBC as a nationally and internationally recognized research university strongly connected with the economic and civic life of the Baltimore region and the State of Maryland. The key drivers in achieving this goal are: creating an inclusive environment for faculty, students, and staff developing excellence in new intellectual frontiers, and fostering multidisciplinary and inter-institutional approaches that build research across the campus.
Supporting material for this focus area can be found here.
1. Increase national prominence in selected multidisciplinary areas spanning the arts, engineering, humanities, information technology, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences. Potential focus areas for the development of multidisciplinary scholarship, creative activity, and research excellence include, but are not limited to, environmental studies, health, national security, data science, and civically engaged and global/transnational scholarship.
2. Increase UMBC’s research prominence through sustained investment in faculty and staff hiring, retention, and development.
3. Position UMBC faculty to win prestigious national and international awards and honors for scholarship, creative activities, and research and grow UMBC’s funded research portfolio to achieve annual research expenditures that consistently place the university among the top 150 institutions in the nation.
1.1 Vigorously promote a campus culture of multidisciplinary collaboration and multidisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative activity. Continue to encourage multidisciplinary activities by supporting interdisciplinary programs and centers.
Review and implement recommendations of the 2015 UMBC Task Force for Interdisciplinary Activities.
Significantly increase the number of multi-investigator and interdisciplinary research proposals and projects.
Increase the number and success of large and targeted small-scale external proposal submissions and increase the diversity of funding sources (e.g., federal, state, non-profit, private).
Significantly increase the number of high-impact interdisciplinary publications and creative activities.
Continue to develop and support meaningful and sustainable research collaborations with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) through such initiatives as seed programs, joint research symposia, and collaborative grant applications.
Promote relationships between faculty and the UMBC research and technology park (bwtech@UMBC) to increase the economic development potential and impact of UMBC’s faculty-led research initiatives.
1.2 Increase communication, information gathering/sharing, and training about opportunities related to scholarship, research, and creative activities.
Significantly increase internal and external partnerships and collaborations that enhance the university’s reputation and achievement as a research university.
Position UMBC faculty to win prestigious national and international awards and honors and promote their nomination for fellowships and awards from professional societies.
2.1 Recruit, support, promote, and proactively retain a more diverse, research-active faculty at both the junior and mid-career levels to build research capacity, productivity, and excellence. Fully recognize the importance of creative activities, scholarship, and research, and where appropriate, technology transfer and commercialization, in hiring and promotion, merit and workload processes, and decisions.
Develop faculty and staff recruitment processes and plans that engage the university and academic units in active recruitment through sustained participation in professional associations, campus presentations by emerging scholars, and targeted outreach efforts.
Support the establishment of Communities of Excellence through strategic partnerships and cluster hires.
Support significant, sustained growth in ethnic, racial, and gender diversity among tenure-track faculty and exempt and non-exempt staff.
Increase hiring and retention of research-active faculty.
2.2 Increase research productivity by attracting and recruiting outstanding doctoral students. This requires proactive recruitment efforts including targeted talent identification plans (to incentivize undergraduate students to consider UMBC), better incentives/financial support, as well as additional graduate assistant positions.
Attract a highly diverse graduate student body, based on UMBC’s national model of undergraduate diversity and success.
Increase the number and quality of applications for UMBC doctoral programs.
Increase the number of doctoral degrees awarded.
2.3 Increase incentives for internal and external collaborations by rewarding and recognizing cross-field and inter-institutional partnerships during merit calculations, review periods, and workload policy development.
Develop new opportunities for faculty to work with a wide range of federal and state agencies, foundations, private industries, and community partners to access new funding sources and/or significant access/impact to communities and audiences.
2.4 Align faculty teaching and service expectations with faculty research activity. Efforts should be made to more effectively balance these expectations for research-active and non-research- active faculty by instituting variable teaching and service loads based on research activity, developing opportunities for research-related release time (including time to mentor research by undergraduate and graduate students), and better aligning research priorities with other campus responsibilities.
Increase the number of faculty, in all disciplines and interdisciplines, with national and international reputations for the quality and impact of their scholarship or creative activities.
3.1 Improve infrastructure and support for research, creative activities, and scholarship by investing in state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment such as shared instrumentation, studio space, and library resources. As research infrastructure is improved and expanded, add qualified technical staff to support research laboratories, studios, arts venues, the library, grant support (pre- and post-award), etc.
Increase the investment in and utilization of campus resources available to support research-active faculty.
Enhance the capacity and capability of both administrative and technical staff supporting research activity through dedicated hiring and professional development.