Current Status Report - September 2011
Text in red denotes new activity since previous status report.

Identify the most promising areas of research throughout the University and improve our effectiveness in attracting outside support for these areas through targeted investments, greater collaboration, increased seed funding, and better support for faculty seeking external funding

Action Taken

  • Created a new incentive program for student-won grants
  • Instituted an annual recognition ceremony for students who bring in external money
  • Moved several promising interdisciplinary research institutes and centers under the auspices of the Office of the Vice President for Research to focus efforts and support in these key research areas
  • Enhanced industry awareness and interactions for Brown research enterprise by supporting on and off-campus site visits with key industry leaders
  • Facilitated statewide discussions around Population Health to stimulate a statewide collaborative research project
  • Convened several meetings with Brown and RISD senior administration and key faculty related to research to define areas of research collaboration to support ongoing RISD-Brown relationships among faculty and students
  • Supported a Brown-RISD engineering and design research event to introduce areas of overlap
  • Began development of a strategic plan for research at Brown in the Office of the Vice President for Research. Resulting plan will inform effective use of University resources in support of promising research
  • Formed a Research Advisory Board faculty working group to explore opportunities to provide increased support for faculty seeking external funding
  • Created new interdisciplinary postdoctoral positions to support emerging collaborations
  • Established a partnership with IBM to bring high-performance computing to Brown to enhance statewide research opportunities
  • Signed MOU and established a partnership with Draper Labs to jointly pursue research on topics related to energy
  • Approved the proposal to elevate the Division of Engineering to a School of Engineering and launched a search for the founding Dean of the new School
  • Continued to build program support for post-doctoral appointees, and worked with Provost’s Office to further incorporate the mission of postdocs into the work of the Graduate School
  • Conducted NSF-sponsored workshop for graduate students on ethical decision-making in the international context
  • Created BEARCORE, new ethics training for all researchers, including graduate students
  • In a collaboration with IBM, a new supercomputer for researchers was purchased and installed which will significantly enhance high performance scientific computing at Brown
  • Provided state-wide access to technology for OSCAR (Ocean State Consortium for Advanced Resources) efforts.
  • Worked with Lewis Burke Associates to provide faculty and department chairs with information about federal funding opportunities
  • Developed a significant thrust area in energy science and coordinated those plans with research in environmental sciences at Brown
  • Started competitive seed awards for collaborative projects between Brown and MBL
  • Revised incentive policy for student-won grants to keep incentive meaningful
  • Collaborated with the American Council of Learned Societies and academic departments to bring ACLS post-doctoral fellows to Brown in the humanities
  • Improved opportunities for collaboration through teleconferencing by making WebEx web conferencing service available to all faculty and staff

Action Needed

  • Secure further support for graduate-student and postdoctorate grant-writing
  • Build long-term strategic plan for industry ecosystem to support research enterprise and build national/global profile
  • Continue dialogues with RISD to define shared research initiatives and support RISD-Brown research collaborations
  • Continue fund-raising and other planning for the School of Engineering
  • Work to implement the plan for increasing the amount of externally supported research across the University, as recommended by the Vice President for Research
  • Implement OVPR strategic planning goals for building signature areas in research
  • Provide more support for faculty in their pursuit of grants, both individual and large-scale interdisciplinary efforts
  • Explore intersections of energy science, environmental and health sciences for future initiatives


  • Provost
  • Vice President for Research
  • Dean of the Faculty
  • Dean of the Graduate School
  • Vice President for Computing and Information Services/CIO

Return to [Phase II - Enhance Academic Excellence at Brown by Increasing the level and quality of support for key Academic Departments and Programs]