Auburn University Strategic Plan

Priority 2: Building the Research-Enterprise Foundation
The Auburn University System values the research, scholarship, and creative endeavors of our faculty and will build the foundation for a stronger and larger research enterprise.


Initiative 3: Strengthen research administration and management

Strategic Priority 24: Joint Research Appointments | 96% COMPLETE

Auburn University continues to support the creation of new joint Faculty appointments.

"The Provost's Office will encourage the establishment of 100 joint faculty appointments to facilitate interdisciplinary research programs that can respond to new research questions and priorities.  To further engage undergraduates in research, 500 students will each receive $1,000 for one semester to assist faculty in research."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • The initial goal was to create 50 joint appointments to facilitate interdisciplinary research. As of fall 2012, 96 joint faculty appointments have been created.
  • Auburn University enhanced its Undergraduate Research Program in 2010 with the hiring of Dr. Lorraine Wolf, Geology, as Director of Undergraduate Research (60% admin appointment). Accomplishments from the Office of Undergraduate Research include:
    • Continued to plan and publicize the Undergraduate Research Fellowship program and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Forum. The 7th annual Forum was held in April 2011; the 2012 Forum was held in April 2012 in conjunction with Research Week 2012. There were 22 Fellows in Undergraduate Research program for 2011-12; approximately 24 Fellows are participating in the program during the 2012-13 year, including some undertaking one-semester long projects).
    • Awarded the 2nd annual Provost's Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship to Michael Squillacote, Associate Prof. in Chemistry (Spring 2011) and to Martha Escobar, Associate Prof. in Psychology (Spring 2012).
    • Developed the Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship (AUJUS); (Co-Faculty Advisors: L. Wolf and M. Marshall). Worked with student editorial group (7 students) to develop submission policies, publication formats and standards; oversee peer review process; and oversee transfer production team (with R. Heck, Graphic Design).
    • Began development of the Tiger Think Tank, a student organization focused on undergraduate research; provided input on activities and by laws.

Strategic Priority 25: Non-Profit Foundation | COMPLETED

Auburn University successfully established the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation (ARTF) [501(c)(3)] in 2009.

"Auburn is structured such that it is a burden for faculty to respond to certain types of research opportunities. Establishing a 501(c)(3) foundation will help facilitate research activities. The foundation should be capable of performing atypical personnel actions and easing the current bureaucracy for international programs, classified research, construction, and renovation. Auburn Montgomery faculty and staff will participate in the new research foundation."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • In 2010, Auburn University established the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation (ARTF) [501(c) (3)].
  • In conjunction with the ARTF, construction of the first building in the Auburn Research Park was completed on time and under budget.  Current tenants include: Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation, Johnson Sterling, Roanoke Electronic Controls, Auburn University Office of Technology Transfer, and Auburn Research and Technology Foundation.

Strategic Priority 26: Proposal Submissions | COMPLETED

Auburn University has developed training and certification program for college-level research administrators.

"Auburn will simplify the proposal submission process.   The Vice President for Research on the Auburn campus will certify, via training and education programs, appropriate individuals at the college, school, or department level who can process proposals for submission to granting agencies. The Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs on the Montgomery campus will perform the same function for Auburn Montgomery."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • Auburn University developed training and certification program for college-level research administrators.  Administrators dedicated to sponsored programs management were trained in procedures for direct proposal submission within the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the College of Human Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • A Request for Proposals was developed to procure an enterprise system for electronic research administration, including but not limited to proposal submission, reporting, measurement, and compliance monitoring.

Strategic Priority 27: Reporting and Measurement | COMPLETED

Auburn University has developed an Annual Report by department for research, publications, and other creative endeavors.

"Auburn will develop an annual report of the research, scholarship, and creative endeavors with appropriate metrics at the departmental level. The report will include agreed upon expectations (for example, a percentage increase in external research funding) for each college and school."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • With the implementation of Digital Measures, Auburn University has streamlined and modernized how we collect information about faculty activity for annual review, promotion and tenure, and other uses so that faculty research production can be effectively analyzed and showcased.
  • The Digital Measures faculty activity reporting system is in place and "open for business."   Orientation meetings, training sessions and student assistants are being provided to assist units in making the transition to digital faculty activity reporting.
  • Auburn University continues to develop an Annual Report by department for research, publications, and other creative endeavors:  Production of the Annual Report will be coordinated alongside major changes to the Auburn University Research web site as part of the strategic marketing and communications plan for research.  Auburn faculty reported an average of 2,000 journal articles and 300 conference presentations in 2009.

Strategic Priority 28: Research Organization | COMPLETED

Auburn University continues to build the institution's research enterprise and successfully established the Auburn University Research Advisory Board in 2010.

"The newly-appointed vice president for research will review the research organization structure and redesign it as appropriate. In addition, the vice president will perform a detailed analysis and evaluation of the economics of funded research at Auburn.  Additional tactical actions related to strengthening research administration and management include actions such as maintaining our membership in the Association of Research Libraries."

Summary of Progress Achieved:

  • In 2009, the Huron Group conducted an internal review and provided recommendations related to enhancing the performance of Auburn's research enterprise, supporting research administrative infrastructure, and expanding the mission and operations of the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation (ARTF).
  • The Auburn University Research Advisory Board (RAB) was established and held its inaugural meeting on November 19, 2009. The existing Research Advisory Council transitioned to the new RAB structure with new members, interim officers, and an interim executive committee.
  • Auburn University experienced a 46% increase in industry sponsored research between FY 2010 ($6,889,511) and FY 2011($10,078,020).
  • Total sponsored funding has increased 45% in the past ten years (from $92,095,546 to $133,772,601); with a 9% increase in total sponsored research between FY 2010 and FY 2011.
  • Auburn has consistently ranked second in the state behind UAB in federally funded research expenditures per the NSF Survey of science and engineering research and development at Institutions of Higher Education.
  • The Auburn University Intramural Grants Program (AU-IGP) is a comprehensive and coordinated competitive grant program administered through the OVPR to catalyze research activities across all units.
    • Initiated by a 2010 OVPR call; the first two years of this program, with required matching funds, allocated in excess of $5.1 million in funding to our faculty (60 of 60 proposals funded in 2010-11 and 54 of 88 proposals funded in 2011-12).
    • After the 3rd year of the IGP program, the OVPR in conjunction with University Senate committees and Associate Deans for Research (ADRs) will review the impact of the IGP and align future investments with funds available and successes of the first three years of this comprehensive internal scholarly investment program.

Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2013

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