Reflecting on a record year for research – An Official Notice from the Vice President for Research and Innovation

Monday, March 22, 2021

Dear UNT faculty and staff,

Despite the challenges of this past year with the global pandemic, UNT’s Division of Research and Innovation had an incredible year. More faculty than ever are engaged in sponsored research, and collaborations with national agencies, laboratories and industries are all on the rise. All of this helps us continue our momentum and reinforce our reputation as a world-class research university.

FY 2020 was a record year for total research expenditures, which increased 6%, for a total of $83.5 million. UNT’s new research awards also reached a high of $34.5 million. This was an increase of 14% over new research awards from the prior year. Additionally, the Research Development unit in our division made a significant effort this year to increase the grantsmanship training to empower faculty to be more competitive and successful in receiving grants from top funding agencies. As a result, faculty submitted 616 new proposals for funding, representing a 15% increase in submissions this past year, which are hoped to lead to significant increases in research expenditures in the years ahead.

I invite you to read the 2020 Research and Innovation Annual Report detailing these activities and successes of the Division of Research and Innovation. The report also includes an outline of the division’s mission, core values and key initiatives, as well as highlighting the significant progress our faculty, staff and administrators have made this year, and our planned direction for the future. Also included in an appendix as a reference is a copy of all the research-related policies that the division created or updated this year.

Dedicated to expanding the research enterprise at the university by supporting and enabling faculty, the Division of Research and Innovation has undergone major restructuring efforts this past year to include the creation of the Research Commercial Agreements (RCA) unit, a revised Grants and Contracts Administration (GCA) unit and a whole new approach by the Research Integrity and Compliance unit on how we handle IRB protocol submissions. Additionally, we are publishing a separate 2020 Research Commercial Agreements Annual Report, which outlines the formation of this important and growing unit at UNT and how it supports our division’s goal of expanding researchers’ work and impact with the private sector.

These initiatives are part of a focused strategy to advance UNT’s research standing and its goal to become eligible to access the Texas National Research University Fund (NRUF). Together with our innovative researchers, we will continue on our path toward changing the world with impactful research that will address society’s biggest problems. Thank you for all you are doing to help move us forward.

Sincerely,

Mark McLellan
UNT Vice President for Research and Innovation