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From the Desk: Advancing IU’s transformative research and creative activity

By Russell J. Mumper

September 28, 2023

Russ Mumper. Russ Mumper. At Indiana University, our researchers have a long history of pursuing research and creative activity that change lives and better our communities. As we begin advancing the goals of the IU 2030 strategic plan, I am excited to have joined the university at such a critical time, working with faculty, staff and students across our campuses to support and grow groundbreaking discoveries and inspiring and impactful initiatives.

Together with industry and community partners, we will increase our societal and economic impact by developing scalable pathways that support our mission and increase our impact. We want IU to be known for its culture of innovation, one that improves the well-being of both individuals and the Indiana economy. We will do so by enhancing support for faculty innovation, invention disclosures, patents and licenses; launching new multidisciplinary initiatives; and growing our partnerships with industry for the dual purpose to make our research relevant and provide learning experiences for our students.

As you know, we hired Associate Vice President for Research and Vice Chancellor for Research in Indianapolis Phaedra Corso and Associate Vice President for Research and Vice Provost for Research in Bloomington Brea Perry to focus on expanding efforts to seek external funding for large-scale, multidisciplinary research partnerships. These are two key players in the IU Research leadership team, and they have hit the ground running.

Additionally, I am excited for Chris Liu and Nick Hammond to join our team in November. Chris will serve as IU’s new associate vice president for research development and Nick will be the new associate vice president for innovation and commercialization.

But our work to build out the IU Research leadership team is not yet complete. Just this month, we launched an internal search for the new position of assistant vice president for arts and humanities research. The successful candidate will develop and manage relationships, services and programs that meet the arts and humanities research and creative activity strategic plan goals for all IU campuses. The second internal search is for the newly created position of assistant vice president for research centers and core facilities, Bloomington with primary responsibility to oversee centrally administered centers and institutes, core services and facilities, and state-serving entities and a secondary responsibility to assist with other strategic initiatives on the Bloomington campus.

IU Research will also continue to enhance engagement of students in research, introducing IU undergraduates to research experiences sooner. One new example of this is the 1st Year Research Immersion Program in Indianapolis, providing unique and hands-on learning experiences. Students are the future of Indiana’s workforce, and we’re renewing our focus on collaborating with partners to create and sustain degree programs that meet the needs of Hoosier businesses and ensuring meaningful experiential learning opportunities — all with the goal of making IU graduates highly sought-after employees.

We also have plans to support IU researchers with expanded resources. Earlier this month, we launched the IU Research and Creative Activity Conference grants program. An internal funding opportunity, this program will allow IU faculty to apply for matching funds to curate and host an innovative conference on an IU campus. By convening scholars from other institutions around the world with IU faculty and students, we will explore new ideas and initiatives, expand scholarly networks, and build new research and creative activity partnerships.

Additionally, IU Research launched a revised IU Research Equipment Fund to provide support for purchasing new research or creative activity equipment, for repairing or upgrading existing equipment, and for datasets at IU university-wide that are strategically necessary to support high-quality research, attract and retain research faculty, and generate external funding for IU Research.

I have tremendous excitement for all that is yet to come. By working together, we will continue to grow the many ways IU’s research serves Hoosier communities and beyond. Please reach out any time with questions, concerns or ideas as we work together to support and grow the high-impact research and creativity activity that have and will continue to improve lives.

Russell J. Mumper is vice president for research.