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Vanderbilt University today launched a historic investment in transformative research and innovation through Discovery Vanderbilt, a new initiative announced by President and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver. Discovery Vanderbilt leverages Opportunity Vanderbilt and Destination Vanderbilt by committing significant resources to dramatically increase faculty, student, and staff engagement and success in pursuing bold new ideas through disciplined and rigorous inquiry.
“Whether it’s undergraduate students pursuing research in a faculty member’s lab or spending long hours rehearsing for a national jazz competition, creating new knowledge is at the heart of our academic mission,” Raver said. “This university-wide initiative is designed to capitalize on Vanderbilt’s culture of collaboration, strategic risk-taking and bold ambition to significantly expand our research reputation, funding and impact. worldwide. This new initiative will include all of the university’s schools and colleges, maximizing our chances of success by having a hugely positive economic and social impact locally, nationally and globally.
Discovery Vanderbilt’s investments will strengthen opportunities for scholars to engage in high-calibre research, scholarship, innovation, and problem-solving, including creating new spaces on campus for discovery and learning. improving infrastructure to support researchtechnology transfer and creative research. The initiative will propel Vanderbilt forward an amount of external funding secured by the faculty for research and innovation, including improved support for faculty seeking prestigious awards, subsidieslicenses, commissioned works and patents and create new opportunities for philanthropic investment. Discovery Vanderbilt will also develop structures to expand the impact and reach of discoveries made by researchers and scholars at the university, including new research partnerships with international, federal, state and local entities; the number of research projects reaching markets or resulting in patents; and the global media reach of these innovations.
“Vanderbilt is a place where bold aspirations are not only welcomed, they are encouraged,” said Chancellor Daniel. Diermeier said. “Discovery Vanderbilt will provide our researchers with resources they can use to set their aspirations even higher and expand the impact of their work. As we enter Vanderbilt’s 150th anniversary, this key initiative will enable the Vanderbilt community to “dare to grow”.
Discovery Vanderbilt will make targeted investments, totaling more than $50 million in the first year, in schools and colleges to support current research efforts while positioning the university to expand and diversify research activities, innovation and entrepreneurial scholarships. Initial activities will include:
- Catalytic funding and supportfor submissions of grants and awards for faculty of all disciplines and grades. Led by Vice Provost for Research and Innovation Padma Raghavan, the Provost’s Office and Deans of Vanderbilt Schools and Colleges will work closely together to help faculty apply for scholarships to spur discovery and enable research. seeking to become self-sustaining through external funding while increasing fundraising opportunities at all levels of the university.
- Expanded resources forinnovation, entrepreneurship and technology transferthrough the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, including the Wond’ry and the Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, to expand the reach of Vanderbilt faculty and student discoveries in the corporate, government and not-for-profit markets.
- New support forlooking for undergraduate studentsin the classroom, studio, archive, field and lab and through Vanderbilt Immersion and paid internships. The undergraduate research expansion will be led by Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Tiffiny Tung, Associate Vice Provost for Immersion and Experiential Learning Amy Johnson and Vice Provost for Career Advancement and Engagement and Evans Family Executive Director of Career Center Alex Sevilla.
- Additional support forHigher Education, building on the increased efforts announced by the Provost and the Graduate School, to support graduate student research and provide scholarships to faculty seeking funding for graduate students on research projects. Vice-Rector for Higher Education and Dean of the Graduate School C. André Christie-Mizell will lead Discovery Vanderbilt’s extensive support for higher education.
- The development of newinterdisciplinary centers and institutesserve as intellectual centers and catalysts for scientific inquiry, discovery, research and teaching. In conjunction with faculty and the Provost’s Office, School and College Deans will play a leading role in the development of new institutes and review opportunities for the expansion of existing centers and institutes. The Vice-Rector for Faculty Affairs, Tracey George, will also work with Deans to ensure Centers and Institutes provide opportunities to attract and recruit new faculty at all career levels and across disciplines.
Details of university investments will be announced as they are finalized with engagement and input from deans, faculty, and campus administrators.
“Our faculty and researchers have demonstrated the ability to take Vanderbilt to the next level as an unparalleled leader in discovery and innovation,” Raghavan said. “With new resource commitments from Provost Raver and Chancellor Diermeier and new federal investments in research, innovation and economic discovery, we currently have a singular moment of opportunity. I look forward to partnering with school, college and faculty deans from all disciplines to amplify Vanderbilt’s impact on the world.
Jhe new initiative will run alongside similar efforts with research partners at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, including strategic approaches led by Scientific and Strategic Director and Executive Vice President for Research Jennifer Pietenpol.
Discovery Vanderbilt will build on the many recent successes of the university and its faculty in growing Vanderbilt’s research reputation:
- In 2022, the university and VUMC crossed the threshold of over $1 billion in combined research funding.
- In 2022, Vanderbilt recorded innovation revenue of over $100 million in the past year, compared to peer institutions averaging $60 million in innovation revenue per year.
- In 2021, the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s innovation hub, used a portion of the Provost’s Office’s $5 million investment to open the Lancer incubator space to support Vanderbilt-related startups.
- In fiscal year 2022, the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Center generated more than $100 million in licensing revenue, four times its annual average. Over the past 10 years, the CTTC has supported over 1,800 inventions, over 562 US patent applications and nearly 900 licenses.
Recent additions to higher and university education include theProvost $5 million investment in doctoral trainingand theVanderbilt Undergraduate Summer Research Program, a fundraising initiative developed by Raver. The Office of the Provost has allocated funds for faculty research through several funding programs, and the Office of Research and Innovation has facilitated them, including Scaling Success Grants, Seeding Success Grants and the Rapid Advancement Micro-Grants Programin the same wayother services and programs for faculty seeking to expand and improve the competitiveness of their externally funded research and purse.