Category Archives: R&D

Baucom Lays Out Priorities for UVa’s R&D Growth

Ian Baucom

by James A. Bacon

R&D at the University of Virginia’s has increased at roughly double the rate of Duke, the University of North Carolina, and other peer institutions over the past ten years, Provost Ian Baucom told the Board of Visitors this afternoon during its June meeting. Admittedly, UVa started from a lower base and its R&D expenditures are still only half those of its Research Triangle rivals, he said. “We should feel really good about the trend. But we’re still behind.” 

A university’s research ranking is important for several reasons, Baucom told the visitors. Research discoveries on maladies from autism to Alzheimer’s “literally change lives.” Research enables students to develop personally so they can participate in the economy as innovators and knowledge creators. And research rankings can affect institutional prestige. “Our reputation and standing depend upon it.”

Research funding from external and internal sources amounts to about $650 million a year. Much of the research — 63% — occurs in traditional STEM (science, technology, engineering, and medicine) fields, where the big money is, but UVa’s comparative advantage is in the social sciences, humanities, quantitative research and computational science. Rather than copying strategies that worked for other institutions, UVa needs to create its own vision, Baumon said. Continue reading