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Research Strategic Plan 2013

Research is a central part of the University of Rochester mission. The University comprises over 700 research-active faculty, approximately 1,000 doctoral students, and over 250 postdoctoral trainees engaged in scientific research. The university’s annual research expenditures were approximately $375M for fiscal year 2013. This creates numerous research opportunities for undergraduates and masters students, many of whom also engage in research activities. The following delineates strategic plans to maintain and enhance the vitality of the research mission at the University and to maintain our standing among the leading research universities in the nation. The plan has been formulated based on an awareness of significant financial challenges for maintaining or enhancing research activities, particularly in biomedical research, the largest component of the University’s research portfolio. Thus, in general we foresee limited, targeted growth in the research enterprise, and seek to find new ways to combine and support existing expertise to ensure the development of novel, cutting edge studies with the ultimate goal of maximizing the impact of our collective investment.

Individual units within the university have developed their own strategic plans specific for the needs and activities of those units. It is the goal of this report to identify common themes across different units within the university and to take advantage of synergistic interests to maximize the benefit of investments across the institution. We also seek to identify missed opportunities for collaboration and to forge connections across schools based on common interests.

The committee identified four broad areas of research synergy across the University: Data Science, Research Foundations for a Healthier Society, Light and Sound, and Energy and the Environment. In addition, we identified an emerging emphasis on community engagement and the translation of research discoveries into practical benefits for society.

Robert Clark
Senior Vice President for Research

Richard Waugh
Associate Vice President for Research and New Initiatives

artist rendering of Data Science building

University Makes $100 Million Commitment to Data Science

Data Science is one of the defining disciplines of the 21st Century. The field has evolved as a hybrid of research in statistics, electrical and computer engineering, computer science, and scientific computing, driven largely by the proliferation of data in the digital age.

The creation of an Institute for Data Science is a university priority. The distinct advantage of creating an institute is that it will enable the coalescence of multiple individual centers in data science that are emerging from domain specific applications. To support the Institute, faculty growth will be critical. Coupled to the growth is the need for space properly configured to support research as well as house visiting faculty and postdocs and accommodate a small administrative office.