Research, Scholarship, and the Creative and Performing Arts

View the full Research, Scholarship, and the Creative and Performing Arts Section of the Plan.
View Year One Implementation Progress for Research, Scholarship, and the Creative and Performing Arts.

Goal 1: The University will foster a culture in which every program and center engages in research, scholarship, and other creative works at the level of the best in its discipline.

View Goal 1 strategies for the Research, Scholarship, and the Creative and Performing Arts Section of the Plan.


Grant Awards Again Set a Record Pace: {See Strategy B} The total value of externally funded research awards in FY09 jumped 30% from the previous year, to $519M. The University raised its FY10 goal to $500M (originally the goal for 2013!), and with a total of $545M has decisively exceeded that goal and the FY09 total. Reflecting a systematic and aggressive pursuit of federal stimulus dollars, the current total includes $58M from that source.

The tremendous increase in external awards in FY09 was due, in part, to a 20% increase over the previous year in the number of proposals submitted and a 70% increase in the dollar amount asked for. The number of proposals submitted in FY10 exceeded the FY09 number, while more than 10% of the proposals submitted asked for over $1M in total funding.

Large Grants Were Received in an Expanding Range of Subjects and Disciplines: {See Strategy B} The number of large grants and the average grant size continue to grow. Among significant grants awarded in FY10 are the following:

*The National Science Foundation has awarded the University nearly $2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to establish a brain imaging laboratory that will advance the leading edge, cross-disciplinary research the university is conducting in children's cognitive, social and psychological development and in children's and adults learning and processing of language. Distinguished University Professor (Human Development) Nathan Fox is the principal investigator of the project that involves at least half a dozen colleges and centers at Maryland. The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences will administer the grant.

*The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a $5.16 million grant to a team of researchers led by Maryland plant science Professor John Lea-Cox to develop automated irrigation systems that will help farmers reduce overwatering and retain their crops' valuable nutrients.

*The University has been awarded $10.3 million in stimulus funds by the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)to build an advanced quantum science lab. The lab will be located within stage one of a new Physical Sciences Complex, scheduled for construction beginning in the summer of 2010. In addition, NIST announced an award of $15.5 million to the University, also from stimulus funds, to develop and implement a national NIST measurement science and engineering fellowship program. These two awards reflect the extremely close collaboration between the University and NIST that has developed in recent years.

*The American Cancer Society has awarded $1.8 million to Associate Professor Cheryl Holt of the School of Public Health, to develop and evaluate "spiritually themed health interventions" specific to prostate cancer for men attending 20 predominately African American churches in Prince George's County, Md.

*Professor John Carlo Bertot, of the College of Information Studies, was awarded $970,000 from the American Library Association and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct the 2009-2012 Public Library Funding and Technology Access surveys.

*Assistant Professor Silvia Muro (joint, Fischell Department of Bioengineering and University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute) has been awarded a $1.72 million, 5-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Project Grant to develop new therapies for the treatment of rare genetic diseases that affect the lungs and brain.

*The Plant Genome Program of the National Science Foundation has awarded $3.23M to the interdisciplinary team of Drs. Gary Coleman and Jianhua Zhu (Plant Science and Landscape Architecture), Dr. Ganesh Sriram (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), and Dr. George Ude (Bowie State University) for studies of ways to turn poplar trees into high-yield crops for biofuels.

*A team of Clark School faculty from the Institute for Systems Research, electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering has won a three-year, $1.5 million National Science Foundation grant for "Ant-Like Microrobots�Fast, Small, and Under Control." Assistant Professor Nuno Martins (ECE/ISR) is the principal investigator. Co-PIs are Associate Professor Pamela Abshire (ECE/ISR), Associate Professor Elisabeth Smela (ME) and Assistant Professor Sarah Bergbreiter (ME/ISR).

*Based on a cooperative agreement between Waters Technologies Corporation and the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), the University has received over $3M to create the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL). The IFSTL will train scientist from countries exporting food to the US in chemical and biological testing techniques to satisfy US FDA requirements. The IFSTL will be built in the Patapsco Building in the M-Square Research Park. JIFSAN Director Professor Jianghong Meng, Nutrition and Food Sciences, is principal investigator.

Five New National Academy Members: {See Strategy C} Five additional faculty were chosen for membership in the National Academies. Professors Ben Schneiderman and Ali Mosleh and Emeritus Professor John Anderson were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. Geology Professor Roberta Rudnick and Neil Gehrels, a NASA scientist, who also is an adjunct professor of astronomy at the university, were elected members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

Faculty Win Other Prestigious Awards: {See Strategy C} University faculty continue to be named for other highly prestigious awards. Among major awards in FY10: Distinguished University professor of English Stanley Plumly was named Poet Laureate of Maryland. William Dorland, Professor of Physics and Director of the University of Maryland Honors College was one of six winners of the E.O. Lawrence Award, which is given for "exceptional contributions to the development, use, control, or production of energy in basic and applied research supporting the Department of Energy and its mission." Emeritus Professor Jos� Emilio Pacheco (Department of Spanish and Portuguese) has been awarded the prestigious Premio Cervantes Prize for 2009. It is the highest literary honor in the Spanish-speaking world. Distinguished University Professor Rita R. Colwell has been awarded the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize, widely recognized as the world's premier award for water related research or policy work. The University now annually celebrates the many research and scholarly accomplishments of its faculty.

Division of Research Support for Faculty Creative Efforts Continues to Expand: {See Strategies B, D, F, & H} The Faculty Incentive Program, continues to provide material support for proposal development and project support. Faculty in disciplines where external funding historically has been scarce are particularly encouraged to apply. As of early May, close to $600,000 (including some college matching funds) was awarded in FY10 in support of 13 projects. A restricted Library of successful proposals, organized by agency and proposal type, can be accessed by University faculty as an aide in proposal preparation. A regular Seminar Series covers such research related issues as: grant writing, federal agency programs and priorities, federal research policies, funding strategies with corporations and foundations, research ethics, and commercialization of intellectual property. Division staff are also available to mentor faculty in grant perparation, to identify funding opportunities, and to provide linkages to funding agencies and potential research partners.

Enhancing the Post Doctoral Experience: {See Strategy I} A committee representing the VP for Research, the Graduate School, and the Provost's Office of Faculty Affairs is finalizing a set of recommended actions, most of which have already been implemented in full or in part. In place are: The University is now carefully tracking post doctoral appointments by College and by appointment type; A website has been established with a considerable amount of information helpful for post doctoral researchers and scholars, including a manual for postdoctoral scholars; the University has joined the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA); the postdoctoral position has been carefully defined, following the NPA guidelines; the University has made progress in establishing guiding principles for the post doctoral experience and guiding principles for postdoctoral appointments; agreements are in place to help balance the benefits available to post doctoral appointees in different employment categories.

Goal 2: The University will be widely known and respected nationally and internationally for its suite of outstanding interdisciplinary research efforts, many focused on major societal issues.

View Goal 2 strategies for the Research, Scholarship, and the Creative and Performing Arts Section of the Plan.


Major New Interdisciplinary Efforts Are In Place or Being Organized: {See Strategies A, B, C, & D } New or developing broad based research efforts with important societal impact include:

*The Energy Research Center is administered by the College of Engineering. It includes faculty from all Clark School departments, as well as from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Chemical and Life Sciences, the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the School of Public Policy, and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Research by Center members ranges from the development of new materials and structures for energy efficiency; through the use of sustainable energy sources such as biomass, wind, and solar; to economic analysis of the effects of climate change; to strategic policy choices for dealing with them.

*The Center for Food Safety and Security Systems is addressing the security of food supplies and systems from the field to the dinner table, with an emphasis on food manufacturing. Center researchers from across the University (including ARHU, ENGR, AGNR, BSOS, CMPS AND SPH) are looking at potential threats, such as bioterriorism and intentional contamination, to the nation's food supply and will work closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, the Department of Agriculture, and the food industry. On hand at the inaugural meeting in November, 2009, were representatives from Mars, Inc., USDA, FDA, ConAgra Foods, the Coca-Cola Company, the Campbell Soup Company, PepsiCo, Inc., General Mills, and a host of other industry, government agency and trade organization representatives.

*The University's Climate Adaptation project, Climate Information: Responding to User Needs or CIRUN was inaugurated at an October 13, 2009 meeting that included over 40 participants from nine colleges and several associated centers. Already a major player in climate research through numerous well established centers and laboratories, the University expects CIRUN to consolidate current activities and facilitate additional collaborations.

*An "Initiative for Consumer Driven Healthcare" was launched in April, 2010 with a public forum that attracted more than 60 faculty members from across the University. Building on the existing Public Health Informatics Research Laboratory and the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (Smith School). The initiative is meant to address the core challenges associated with the digital transformation of healthcare. Its goals include the development of rigorous solutions that accelerate and facilitate the transformation of healthcare, with a specific focus on the design, introduction and integration of information and decision technologies that improve the quality and safety of care, health literacy, the exchange and usefulness of health data, and the advancement of clinical research. A strong effort will be in health equity, spearheaded by a core group of five new faculty recently recruited to the School of Public Health in the Departments of Health Services Administration, Family Sciences, and Public and Community Health.

*With the restructuring of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, the University, in collaboration with the Medical School at UMB and with NIST, and drawing on current strong programs and infrastructure at College Park, will establish a new Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR). The IBBR is expected to create world-class research and economic development enterprises in three complementary areas: Nanobiotechnology; Pathobiology; and Structural biology, protein design, and drug discovery.

*The Office of the Vice President for Research recently convened an interdisciplinary task force on the �Future of Information� to explore how best to synthesize and leverage University pockets of expertise concerning the meaning of information and our relationship to it. Issues range from the preservation of cultural heritage, to the effective use of increasingly large information reservoirs, to the development of new mobile learning experiences, to the redefinition of open and participatory government, to the reconceptualization of libraries and archives. This group has recommended an integrated series of events during the upcoming academic year designed to engage our community in the potential formation of cross campus interdisciplinary working groups pursuing crucial issues concerning the future of information. As a first step, all interested faculty members are invited to an initial on-campus workshop and forum on September 24, 2010.

Goal 3: Taking advantage of its special location, the University will strengthen its research programs by further expanding collaborations with national and international partners for mutual benefit, including the sharing of expertise, personnel, and use of advanced facilities.

View Goal 3 strategies for the Research, Scholarship, and the Creative and Performing Arts Section of the Plan.


Area Collaborative Agreements: {See Strategies A & D } Major new and enhanced agreements include the following:

*A new blanket cooperative agreement was signed with the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. The broad guiding agreement will enhance both institutions' abilities to collaborate by providing greater access to the personnel and the facilities of the other and allow easier identification, development, and implementation of future partnerships. The pre-eminent joint activities that will come from this joint venture include space-based science; engineering research and development; bio-sciences; earth sciences, and education. A separate agreement, which creates a Joint Space-Science Institute (JSI), lays a blueprint for the two institutions to share resources and expertise in building a world-leading institute for space science. This new institute will build on the many existing research partnerships in high energy and particle astrophysics, space and black hole physics, cosmology, and planetary and solar system astronomy. The establishment of the JSI also will provide the possibility of unique undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and career employment opportunities in space science. The new joint institute's ability to provide Maryland students 'hands on' experience both on campus and in NASA Goddard labs is expected to be "an extremely attractive tool for recruiting the best and brightest" graduate and undergraduate students to the University of Maryland, according to officials.

*In July, 2009 the University and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center(BARC) formalized their 52-year partnership by signing a five-year cooperative agreement. The two organizations will work to create a leading center on agricultural, environmental and natural resources research. Additional agreements with BARC and the MARS Corporation (for work in food safety and security), with the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), and with other area agencies and organizations are in various stages of negotiation.

*On May 19, 2010, the University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Cancer Research Center at the National Cancer Institute that "establishes the Collaborative Research and Graduate Partnership Program in Cancer Technology between the University of Maryland and the Center for Cancer Research at the NCI. The program, only the second of its kind affiliated with the NCI, will send Maryland graduate students to the NCI laboratories in Bethesda, Md., for training and will provide for professional and academic exchanges between university faculty and NCI researchers." Maryland researchers expect to help the NCI do a quantitative analysis of the large amounts of raw data now available due to rapid-fire advances in genomics and cell imaging. These researchers include UM experts in statistical mechanics, chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics developing models that assist federal scientists as they look at healthy and cancerous cells. Other Maryland faculty will lend expertise in bioengineering and nanotechnology, using the university's sophisticated nanofabrication laboratories to expand knowledge in areas like targeted drug delivery and micro-photonics that can be used in cell imaging. A kickoff workshop is scheduled for June 15, 2010.

*On June 4, 2010, the University and the Lockheed Martin Corporation signed an agreement to "create a unique, strategic relationship between the two institutions." According to the news release, "The new agreement provides a strategic framework for current and future cooperation that leverages the resources, talent, and ideas of both institutions to produce innovative solutions for global and national security challenges. The agreement provides for work in three key areas: Centers of Collaboration, Joint Pursuit of Business Opportunities, and Enhanced Research and Development. The initial Lockheed Martin commitment is a minimum of $1 million per year for three years. However, officials from both organizations agree that the relationship is expected to grow in terms of both collaboration and investment." The first of the planned centers, the Center for Logistics and Sustainment, has already been launched under the direction of Jacques Gansler, Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Public Policy and Private Enterprise in the School of Public Policy.

Seed Grant Collaboration With UMB Shows Continuing Success: {See Strategy B} The University and UMB continued their joint competitive NIH Seed Grant Program in FY10. The initiative fosters teams of investigators crossing disciplinary boundaries and campuses to establish specific research foci, generate preliminary data, and submit research proposals to the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, or other federal funding agencies. This year's winners were announced on April 15 during a seminar where the winners of the previous competition presented their research findings. Results in this third program year included seven funded proposals for a total of about $500K. With eight awards in year 1 and nine in year 2, these 1 year awards have resulted in 31 NIH proposals submitted, 6 proposals funded, 2 invention disclosures, and 36 papers published and presented at professional meetings with many proposals and papers planned in 2010. The seed grant program has also resulted in regular meetings between College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore Medical School to explore additional funding opportunities. This collaboration has fostered several major NIH proposals. Examples are the Clinical and Transitional Science Awards (CTSA) proposal and the Physics Oncology Center proposal.

Smithsonian Agreement Initial Results: {See Strategy C} In April, the university and the Smithsonian Institution strengthened and expanded their longstanding ties with a memorandum of understanding. The first year of a seed grant program was established to enhance existing collaborations and foster new projects between researchers and scholars at the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution. Each contributed $105,000 for a total of $210,000. Nineteen proposals were submitted from diverse areas of research representing 11 colleges and institutes at UMCP and 11 museums and galleries of the Smithsonian Institution. Funding decisions were made from the recommendations of the UM-SI Seed Grant Program Peer Review Panel, which was constituted of three panel members from UMCP and three panel members from the Smithsonian Institution, including experts in the arts, humanities, chemistry, life sciences, and engineering. Ad hoc reviews were obtained from experts in astrophysics. Four proposals were selected for funding and at least six of the other proposals were recommended for follow up to encourage the teams to continue to move forward on their collaborative programs.

Strong Relationships With Agencies and Corporations: {See Strategy F} Many University personnel have strong advisory relationships with the leadership of important organizations, providing the university with conduits for information, for establishing collaborations, and for recognition as an important player in research and development. As salient examples, Professor Jacques Gansler (PUAF) was named to the Defense Science Board, Professor Jim Gates (PHYS) was named to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Distinguished University Professor John Laub (CCJS) was nominated to be Director of the National Institute of Justice (confirmed on June 22, 2010), and Professor Susan Schwab (PUAF) was named to the Board of Directors of the Boeing Corporation. Professor Steve Fetter (School of Public Policy) is serving as Assistant Director in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Professor Ed Montgomery (Economics) reports to President Obama as Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. Professor Tony Busalacchi (Atmospheric & Oceanic Science) is Chair of the Climate Working Group of NOAA's Science Advisory Board. Professor Mark Lewis (Aerospace Engineering) is Chief Scientist for the U.S. Air Force. Vice President Mel Bernstein serves on the boards of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and the Oak Ridge organization. Associate Vice President Ken Gertz serves on the Board of the University Space Research Association.

Goal 4: The University will use its research enterprise to substantially increase its role in entrepreneurship, technology transfer and commercialization, and venture creation to significantly enhance the State's and the nation's competitiveness and fuel the region's economic development engine.

View Goal 4 strategies for the Research, Scholarship, and the Creative and Performing Arts Section of the Plan.


Strong Support Contiues for Tech Transfer and Venture Creation: {See Strategy A} Continuing services offered by the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) and by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) include mentoring individuals, providing support services, and connecting with potential investors and clients. A typical weekly Mtech sendout illustrates its range of activities and services. An example of the impact of University developed technology on the region is the important use of the Regional Integrated Transportation Information System (RITIS) during February's snow emergency. Examples of significant up-and-coming technologies were highlighted in the April 13 Inventions of the Year presentation. Other significant inventions were presented during the Professor Venture Fair, held during the annual Bioscience Research and Technology Review Day on November 12.

An International Incubator Was Opened With DBED Collaboration: {See Strategy C} Located on Route 1 near the main entrance to the campus, the Maryland International Incubator was officially inaugurated in October , 2009. A collaboration with the State's Department of Business & Economic Development (DBED), the mission of the International Incubator is to connect Maryland and International companies for successful joint ventures through a targeted array of business services, state-of-the-art facilities, and world-class resources. Anchored by the Maryland-China Research Park, the 7,500 square-foot incubator�s has the potential to accommodate between 20 and 25 foreign tenants when fully occupied. As of mid May, it was already close to full. The University's interest is in opportunities for collaboration and for student participation and support. The State's interest is in economic development; attracting foreign-owned companies and new jobs to Maryland.