Students out side of Petit Science Center

Goal 3

Become a leading public research university addressing the most challenging issues of the 21st century.

As an academic community we honor the achievements of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research conducted at Georgia State University. These efforts contribute to the development of knowledge and are represented across the university. We will accelerate these efforts through strategies and investments that will position Georgia State among the leading public research universities. Essential components of this goal are to increase the university’s competitiveness in the award of federal research funds and prestigious awards and fellowships, and to provide new structures, adjust existing ones, and encourage additional resources that will promote and increase interdisciplinary collaboration.

INITIATIVE 1: Enhance a research culture.


The vitality of a university’s research and scholarship is dependent on the leadership of the faculty and the quality of graduate programs. Georgia State’s Second Century Initiative is a commitment to this relationship. With this initiative as a basis we will increase the number of endowed professorships, Regents’ Professorships, and Eminent Scholars as well as create research-designated professorships. Additionally, we are committed to further developing a culture that recognizes the importance and impact of funded research and its dissemination and rewards individuals whose efforts further the strategic goals of the university. It is important therefore that we recognize the importance of developing and supporting productive scholars across all ranks and disciplines, pre- and post-tenure. Also, Georgia State’s commitment to increasing and focusing our research and scholarship will be made tangible by increased resources for selected existing and potential areas of strength. We will identify and focus on such areas of research and commit to transformative investments. This commitment is exemplified by recent awards in the areas of diagnostics, which include immunity and inflammation and drug design; evidence-based economics and public policy; health law and policy development; bioinformatics; urban health issues; challenges to acquisition of language and literacy; neuroscience; new media and communication; and risk management.

INITIATIVE 2: Establish University-Level Research Centers.


At public and private agencies the growth in potential funding increasingly is focused on interdisciplinary research that addresses societal problems. To assure Georgia State’s competitiveness the university requires a more robust and strategic means for developing research programs. Toward this end, we will establish a two-tier system of university-level research centers that will facilitate the conduct and administration of research.

University-Level Research Centers (ULRCs).


ULRCs will give priority to problem-focused projects that demonstrate successful interdisciplinary collaboration and address challenges facing our rapidly changing society. ULRCs will provide value-added administrative support systems and the operational efficiencies necessary to facilitate the translation of scholarship into grant applications, economic development activities, products and services. These centers will facilitate recruitment of accomplished research faculty, scientists, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Their primary responsibility will be to house center- or program-level funded projects of approximately $1-3 million per year. University Research Center Incubators (RCIs) will support emerging research programs that have the potential to mature into a ULRC. RCIs will be provided up to three years of support and then will be reviewed for designation as a ULRC. For such designation an RCI will have received an average of $1 million in annual external federal support. [For extended discussion see Appendix C.

INITIATIVE 3: Create a Georgia State Faculty Fellowship Program.


Prestigious, peer-reviewed, international, national and disciplinary fellowships and awards are a metric for scholarly excellence. Many such awards require extensive applications and completion of specific scholarly activities. To be competitive for these awards faculty require time to develop proposals or complete the activity for which they received the award or fellowship. The university will create a Georgia State Faculty Fellowship Program that provides one-semester teaching and service release to facilitate completion of applications for a designated list of pre-eminent international and national fellowships or awards. Recognized fellowships and awards will be externally defined. For the arts and humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and life sciences the relevant awards will be those on the National Academy’s list or those identified by the Center for Measuring University Performance. Similar externally judged award listings for the professional disciplines will be identified.

INITIATIVE 4: Enhance supporting infrastructure for the conduct of research.


(a) Research administration support services.


Reforms of internal research administrative support will include an integrated central and distributed research administration. This will include expanded Central Research Administration management staff to ensure central services are functioning at expected levels, while also providing supervision and training of the new distributed full-time certified research administrative staff in the colleges/departments. [Expanded discussion appears in Appendix D.]


(b) Research information resources.


The Georgia State University Library will provide new and emerging technologies that support research. This includes technologies to provide anytime/anywhere access to Georgia State’s and the world’s scholarly information and improved discovery tools to ensure access to purchased, licensed and electronic content. As economic pressures shift distribution away from traditional delivery models, the library will provide a just-in-time method for acquiring materials instead of the existing just-in-case model. The Digital Archive @ GSU will be used to collect, disseminate and preserve Georgia State’s scholarly output. In response to government mandates, the library will collaborate with others to create a plan for long-term management of research data. [Expanded discussion appears in Appendix E.] Additionally, the university will enhance its digital infrastructure to deliver IT-enabled services in support of research. These services will enable faculty and students to capture, organize, analyze and share structured and unstructured data and collaborate seamlessly across projects. Given the rapid pace of innovation in information technology, the university will continually scan for new capabilities and offer the best of these to its constituents, with both on-premise and outsourced services.

INITIATIVE 5: Enhance Georgia State’s contributions to the sciences, and health and medical research and education


(a) Expanding the scale of scientific research.


Georgia State is committed to increasing the scale of its contributions in the natural, computational, behavioral and social sciences because the sciences are crucial to Georgia State’s identity as a leading research university and its goal of significantly increasing external funding. Expanding research capacity in the sciences will require additional resources and mechanisms to foster the success of faculty, staff and students in key areas, strengthen interdisciplinary collaborations, forge connections with University-Level Research Centers, and sustain our nationally competitive core facilities. Toward this end we will expand our partnerships and pursue large-scale program projects and center grants with the Georgia Research Alliance, other research universities, industry and government. We will increase the development of intellectual property, property technology transfer and biotech licensing and build on our successes in securing external funding for research in science and math education.


(b) Contributions to health and medical education.


The 21st century is already seeing significant growth and concern in the areas of the health and medical requirements of our citizens. Atlanta is home to numerous global health organizations that provide a significant variety of research, funding and employment opportunities. As a leading public research university in Atlanta, Georgia State will expand its contributions to research and education in these areas by establishing a School of Public Health. This new school will be eligible for a stream of federal funding dedicated to accredited schools of public health and expand current degree offerings to include undergraduate and doctoral degrees. Further, given the prospects for growth and society’s projected needs, Georgia State representatives will initiate discussions with the Board of Regents and major stakeholders concerning a new avenue of contribution by which Georgia State would add a new school or college in the field of medical/health research and education.