Strategy to Amplify Research and Scholarship
As communities continue to grapple with significant societal challenges, the University of Michigan is creating new ways for its researchers to amplify the impact of their discoveries and improve the quality of life for people across the state, nation and world.
The Strategy to Amplify Research and Scholarship was designed specifically to provide our teams with the right amount of support so they can tackle society’s greatest challenges and flourish.
Enhance support for and broaden participation of researchers seeking large-scale grants
The U-M research enterprise relies on significant levels of external funding to support research, scholarship and creative practice. Through the Amplify strategy’s Bold Challenges Initiative, U-M supports transformative collaborations that convert individual researcher talents into large-scale opportunities.
The new Bold Challenges strategy features events, programs and services.
Bold Challenges events “meet people where they are” through empowering workshops, seminars and networking opportunities. These events offer team building activities, opportunities to interact directly with funders and develop networks to increase cross-school collaborations.
The Bold Challenges programs build faculty skills, knowledge and capacity so that U-M researchers are ready to pounce when big opportunities arise. Its two programs are called BOOST and ACCELERATE:
- BOOST is an annual program to support early-stage multi-school teams working on significant transdisciplinary projects with substantial potential for large-scale funding. BOOST provides research development support and up to $75K to increase team capacity and competitiveness.
- ACCELERATE offers “precision service” to support and guide teams that are seeking transformational grants through an identified funding source, including:
- Personalized access to research development support. Up to $250K in incentive-based support to increase the probability of a successful proposal.
Bold Challenges services offer a broad range of research development and proposal preparation assistance for U-M researchers who have bold external funding ambitions.
Enhance support for foundation-sponsored research
Grants and awards from foundations and other nonprofits regularly support high-risk science and/or early career proof-of-concept projects.
Amplify support includes:
Resources to researchers (e.g., grant writing toolkits, proposal development support, updated budgeting guidelines) seeking foundation funding, and highlight success stories of impactful U-M research enabled by these funding sources.
A strategic outreach plan for key foundations and use forecasting to identify funding opportunities for researchers.
Facilitating discussions about incentives and policies with university stakeholders, and working closely with OUD to provide increased coordination across faculty and staff.
Enhance support for industry-sponsored research
To advance its public mission and support economic growth in our region, U-M must remain competitive with its peers in developing and cultivating productive industry partnerships.
Amplify support includes:
- Providing faculty-facing corporate business development support (framing statements of work, drafting term sheets, etc.) to convert their corporate relationships and conversations into successful sponsored research collaborations.
- Engaging in business development outreach in areas identified as growth opportunities that align with U-M research strengths and intellectual property portfolios, such as life sciences/biotechnology.
- Growing and expanding existing corporate research engagements by allocating alliance management support for major and strategic corporate research sponsors.
Establish infrastructures to coordinate faculty honorifics
External honorific awards are a critical component of faculty recognition and career development, and tie in closely to future research success. The Amplify strategy seeks to increase recognition for U-M researchers by increasing coordination and sharing best practices across the institution and ensuring equitable nomination processes.
- Create an equitable process for public, university-wide calls for nomination to high-prestige, transdisciplinary, invited or limited submission honorifics administered by OVPR.
- Support unit- and department-level nomination processes with better analytics and logistical support, reducing the burden on nominators and nominees while increasing the number, diversity, and quality of faculty nominations.
- Convene a community of practice to increase communication, share resources, and promote best practices among faculty and staff working on nominations in units and departments across campus.
- Launch a webpage to celebrate U-M researchers who have been recognized across all disciplines, and an internal database to coordinate nominations across units, track successes and plan for future submissions.
Establish infrastructures to forecast new research frontiers
This Amplify pillar will work to develop broadly relevant tools to allow timely identification and dissemination of information about emerging funding opportunities from both federal agencies and non-federal funders, such as corporations and foundations.
The forecasting pillar will partner with existing OVPR units, such as Federal Relations and the other components of Amplify Phase 1, to systematically use publicly available data and research intelligence in concert with cutting-edge analytics to identify promising trends and opportunities and match potential teams with the relevant research support capabilities.
This work will both increase the visibility of new opportunities, provide potentially interested faculty across U-M with a ‘head start’ on developing relevant ideas and identifying potential sources of research development support, and in so doing, expand both the scope and the impact of the other Amplify pillars.
Expand research analytic capabilities to support strategy
In Fiscal Year 2021, U-M spent $1.7 billion on research activities across essentially the entire range of human knowledge. Yet, as an institution, there is much more that U-M can learn about its own research portfolio. By doing so, U-M can effectively plan for the future, strategically invest to maintain and expand its research capabilities, identify and pursue knowledge frontiers, work across unit boundaries and understand the full impact of its research.
OVPR launched the Research Analysis and Data Integration Office (RADIO) on a pilot basis in 2021 to analyze and integrate many types of data to serve, support and strengthen U-M’s research, scholarly and creative enterprise. Since then, RADIO’s work has supported efforts in OVPR, Government Relations, Communications, Finance and the Provost’s Office, contributing to efforts from COVID-19 response and recovery to identifying the underlying opportunities that underpin the Amplify Research Strategy.
This pillar will deepen and expand U-M’s capabilities for research analytics, including new forecasting capabilities, the development and implementation of new tools to support Bold Challenges, Foundation and Corporate Research and Honorifics, and improved service to schools and colleges and central administration across the breadth of U-M’s research, scholarly and creative practice portfolio.
The Amplify Strategy is supported by several OVPR units that work in coordination to create opportunities for U-M researchers to pursue groundbreaking research in partnership with colleagues, federal agencies, foundations and other philanthropic organizations.