Introduction

Texas Tech is in a period of rapid growth in its research enterprise. The Office of the Vice President for Research has been charged with leading the university’s efforts to increase and improve upon the already excellent research, scholarship and creative activity at the university. Strategic Priority 3 of the 2011 Report: Making it possible… 2010-2020 Strategic Plan 2012 Update directly relates to the function of the OVPR.

It is wise for new faculty at Texas Tech to spend some time talking with colleagues and your department chair to better understand research expectations in your department. It also is helpful to participate in the Faculty Proposal Development Program, a nine-month program geared toward junior faculty, but open to all. While the program is designed to help faculty members write successful proposals, it also is an opportunity to meet and network with other faculty to explore transdisciplinary opportunities.

Key Areas

There are several areas in the OVPR that directly help researchers in obtaining and managing external funding.

Strategic Research Themes

To help focus resources, eight strategic research themes guide future programmatic development and resource investment strategies. The themes were developed and then evaluated by the college deans with respect to increasing support to the institution, advancing knowledge, improving quality of life and enhancing global and economic competitiveness. The strategic research themes will be evaluated periodically as the university’s strategic plan is reviewed.

To further refine the university’s research initiatives, 13 research focus areas have been developed:

  • Renewable energy
  • Neuroimaging and neuroscience
  • Bioinformatics and metabolomics
  • Food safety and security
  • Materials science
  • Cancer detection, treatment and prevention
  • Nutrition, obesity and diabetes
  • Climate, water and sustainable agriculture
  • Integration of biological and physical systems
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Addiction and recovery
  • National security
  • STEM education and assessment

The investment areas are meant to be strategic in nature and typically include: senior hires, significant start-up packages, new or refurbished space, graduate student support, strategic partnerships and pursuit of large competitive funding opportunities from federal agencies. These include: the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Commerce, National Institutes of Health, Department of Interior, and U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as select corporations and foundations.