IV. Research, Scholarship, and Creative Endeavors

Research, scholarship, and creativity play an important role in the scholarly growth and development of a faculty member and greatly enhance the University's ability to meet its principal missions by strengthening and supporting undergraduate and graduate education, by serving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the nation in the tradition of the land-grant university, and by using its resources of faculty expertise to expand the frontiers of knowledge. 

The University first enumerated these principles in formal policy in 1940. Since the original adoption by the Board of Trustees, the Board has updated the principles to adapt to changes, but the principles have remained fundamentally the same. Faculty may read about them in RA24, "Position Statement on Research." This chapter addresses Penn State resources, policies, and procedures that may assist faculty in their pursuit of research, scholarship, and creative activities.

The University's Research Program

Research at Penn State is conducted within colleges and academic departments, in more than one hundred interdisciplinary research centers, laboratories and specialized facilities, and through a network of institutes and consortia. Research activity within a college is the responsibility of the dean. Each college, however, has a research office administered by an assistant or associate dean for research.

Penn State has a number of major interdisciplinary strategic initiatives organized as institutes and consortia funded through the Office of the Vice President for Research in collaboration with many of the academic colleges. The University's strategic institutes and consortiums provide a formal structure in which faculty from different colleges can cooperate on multidisciplinary research. University institutes and consortiums conduct research in areas spanning both basic and applied research topics, from the social sciences to the life sciences, and from the humanities to the physical sciences.

The vice president for research has overall responsibility for the University's research program, and has institutional responsibility to expand opportunities for research and to maximize the benefits to the graduate program. The vice president for research consults the University Research Council in this effort.

Assisting the vice president is the associate vice president for research and director of strategic initiatives, who works to enhance the University's research environment and competitiveness. The associate vice president has the responsibility within the office of the vice president for research to foster research at Penn State. The major aspects of this function include providing leadership for the development of major research activities at the University, working with the faculty and administration to organize large-scale, multi-investigator, interdisciplinary research teams, developing University policies that encourage research, and responsibility for selections on all limited submission requests for proposals.

Also assisting the vice president for research are the associate vice president for research and director of sponsored programs, who facilitates the submission, award, and management of grants and contracts; the associate vice president for research and technology transfer and director of the Office of Technology Management, who seeks to make University research available to the benefit of society; the associate vice president for health sciences research and vice dean for research at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, who focuses on health-related research challenges, and strives to build partnerships between the University Park and Hershey campuses.