Research and Scholarship at Mississippi State University in 2013

Top 100 Research Institution Report Card

Overall Goal

Mississippi State University will rank in the Top 100 research universities nationally in all major research categories. Our recognition as a major research university will be reflected by our designation as a Research University - Very High Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Goal 1 - Increase the quantity and quality of PhD students and doctoral programs to emulate nationally recognized peer institutions.

  • a. Graduate a minimum of 200 doctoral students annually.
  • b. Identify and initiate additional new and novel doctoral programs that will not only build upon institutional strengths but are also characteristic of nationally recognized land-grant research institutions.
  • c. Develop institutional practices that would allow high achieving undergraduate students to enter doctoral programs directly.
  • d. Develop best practices and methods to more closely integrate graduate education with funded research programs.
  • e. Increase the number of endowments to support graduate fellowships from 6 to 20.
  • f. Promote and develop faculty development programs that describe best practices in using doctoral students for research.
  • g. Develop institutional programs that provide opportunities for increased training and experiences for doctoral students prior to selecting a dissertation topic.
  • h. Initiate a university-level bridge-funding program to provide support funds for doctoral students to complete their dissertation project.

Goal 2 - Effectively promote and recognize faculty scholarship to enhance the national reputation of the university.

  • a. Increase number of endowed chairs and professorships from 45 to 65, including at least one endowed position in each academic college.
  • b. Develop and initiate an institutional awards and honors program that will help to retain and recognize both junior and senior-level faculty members.
  • c. Develop and initiate a university-wide financial stipends program to recognize exceptional faculty achievement above normal merit raise considerations.
  • d. Establish a university-wide honorific committee responsible for nominating deserving faculty members for significant external awards.
  • e. Increase the number of faculty nominations for nationally recognized awards including discipline specific society fellows,
    Beckman Young Investigators, Cottrell Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, NEH Fellows, NSF CAREER Awards, and Sloan Foundation Fellows.
  • f. Increase library resources to ensure adequate funds to order needed materials in support of research focus areas.
  • g. Lead in the design, development, and funding of a new modern, state-of-the-art building for collaborative research that would facilitate increased opportunities for using shared resources.
  • h. Develop a plan to ensure that all faculty members have time allocated as part of their faculty appointments to perform scholarly work.

Goal 3 - Identify and support institutional research focus areas that have a statewide, regional, and national priority.

  • a. Develop an institutional process that identifies, supports, and invests in research areas of strategic importance.
  • b. Establish and implement an annual institutional seed grant program to encourage development of cross-disciplinary research areas.
  • c. Establish and implement a program to identify and fund emerging, multidisciplinary large research areas.
  • d. Establish funded Associate Dean for Research positions in all academic colleges.
  • e. Develop a program to more effectively use federal initiatives to strategically build research infrastructure in support of research focus areas.
  • f. Establish a program to provide institutional funding for acquisition, replacement, and refurbishment of multi-user scientific instrumentation.
  • g. Establish and implement a university wide program to support undergraduate research.

Goal 4 - Increase total university research funding to a level in excess of $200M sustained over a three-year period.

  • a. Develop a program to enhance the national reputation and prestige of the university in order to open up significant partnering opportunities in emerging research areas.
  • b. Ensure that new research-active faculty members receive adequate support to initiate and sustain nationally recognized research programs.
  • c. Develop and implement a plan to increase the amount of private funding for research.
  • d. Provide enhanced opportunities for faculty and staff members to travel to Washington, DC to visit with federal agencies.
  • e. Develop faculty development programs to increase the percentage of faculty involved in funded research from 35% to 50%.
  • f. Develop improved tools to communicate significant proposal opportunities to research faculty and staff.
  • g. Develop a plan to increase funding levels from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Health to $20M annually each.
  • h. Assess the university wide research infrastructure available to the academic community to determine areas which need additional resources.

Background Information for Strategic Plan