Research: Inspired, Integrative, Responsive
Joining the University of Idaho as Vice President for Research and Economic Development last year offered me the opportunity of a lifetime. Every day I get a firsthand look at the leading-edge scholarship and the exciting research that contributes to fulfilling our land-grant mission. Every day I get to know the men and women who make that success happen.
The breadth and depth of our research enterprise, and the creativity to which we are committed, are constant sources of inspiration. Vandal faculty are taking a brave and bold approach to the complex problems and critical issues that face Idaho and the world. We're leaders in fire science, in alternative energy, in cybersecurity challenges, in complex modeling and so much more.
Interdisciplinary research is increasingly a driver of our success at UI. In January, we opened the Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) in Moscow. With over 20 dynamic projects ranging from the Center for Modeling Complex Interactions, to brain-inspired autonomous navigation, to potato cyst nematode research, the IRIC is home to projects that transcend traditional academic boundaries.
This was the inaugural year of the Vandal Ideas Project (VIP): Innovate program. Our Polymorphic Games design studio and the "Visualizing Science" project that debuted at the Prichard Art Gallery in downtown Moscow are but two notable examples of outcomes of this internal investment program.
That expertise translates into our highest research success to date. As the state's only R2 "Higher Research Activity" institution according to the Carnegie Classification, we passed an important threshold with $102 million in annual research expenditures for fiscal year 2016 as reported to the National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey. While that is an important milestone, it is more than a dollar figure. Every dollar represents determined effort, thoughtful creativity, and a consistent commitment to the hard but rewarding work of discovery and innovation.
You will see more examples of that success highlighted in this report. The achievements described here are worthy of celebration. They also make me very optimistic for the future of Vandal excellence in research, scholarship and creative activity.
Janet E. Nelson
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Download the full 2017 Research Report in PDF format.