Research Analysis

Strengths

  • Excellent, highly productive faculty
  • Faculty contributions to public scholarship and policy
  • Upward trajectory of research profile, including growth in external funding
  • Diversity of disciplines and perspectives
  • Interdisciplinary units (Creative Media Industries; Global Studies; Gerontology; Neuroscience; Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies; etc.) and areas of focus (Brains & Behavior, Language & Literacy, Molecular Basis of Disease, Urban Health Research)
  • Interdisciplinary core facilities (e.g., Mass Spectrometry, NMR Spectroscopy)
  • Targeted hiring programs, especially those that include graduate student support (Next Generation Program)
  • University Research Centers
  • International scholars and conferences
  • Location in Atlanta, including access to health and media sectors, international communities
  • GSU internal grants programs, including Areas of Focus seed grant programs
  • Workload adjustment programs (PAWS Jr, etc.)
  • Research-active graduate students
  • Graduate fellowship programs
  • Large and highly diverse student body

Weaknesses

  • External grant dollars as single metric for tracking and recognizing research productivity
  • Research/scholarship that is not attached to large amounts of external funding is undervalued
  • Infrastructure: Limited research space, especially beyond wet labs
  • Infrastructure: Dwindling library resources
  • Infrastructure: No research development staff
  • Infrastructure: Low ratio of grants and contracts officers per number of projects
  • Infrastructure: Lack of support for coordination of research conferences
  • Infrastructure: No administrative support for post-docs
  • Infrastructure: Lack of resources/support for multi-PI, center and training grants
  • Infrastructure: Lack of standard operating procedures and support for all grant types, intellectual property and technology transfer
  • Declining numbers of tenure-track faculty, especially new assistant professors
  • Mixed message on prioritization of teaching vs. research for tenure track faculty
  • Faculty and staff retention challenges, especially salary compression
  • Communication about research opportunities, resources, accomplishments
  • Low/uneven graduate student stipends across programs
  • Uneven implementation of workload policy across college
  • Challenges to splitting credit for collaborative research ventures
  • Outside recognition and visibility lags behind our research strengths
  • Limited endowment funds
  • Not tracking alumni
  • Limited connections with local industries, research institutions and universities/colleges

Opportunities

  • Location: Engagement with international communities, underserved populations
  • Location: Potential collaborations with health sector, other research institutions, college and universities
  • Location: Access to media industries (“Y’allywood”)
  • Location: Access to policy makers, state and local governments
  • Location: Attractive destination for faculty recruitment
  • Location: Viable destination to host large research conferences
  • Large pipeline of students, given large size of college and consolidation with Perimeter College
  • Title III and Title V funding opportunities
  • Expand grant applications to more federal agencies
  • Foundation funding
  • Add more interdisciplinary centers, labs
  • Incentivize and support graduate research (by writing students into grants, for example)
  • Turner Field and other GSU satellite locations
  • Next Generation Program funding to facilitate interdisciplinary research, team science, recruitment of post-docs and research-track faculty
  • Funded PIs could request supplements on their NIH grants to fund faculty, students and post-docs from underrepresented minorities or with disabilities
  • Increase F&A cost coverage to increase the amount of indirect $$$ that comes back to the college and departments

Threats

  • Uncertainties with respect to federal funding priorities
  • Georgia political climate and legislative priorities
  • Lack of attention to federal compliance requirements
  • Security and safety on campus
  • Decreased levels of available federal funding and increased competition, irrespective of current political climate
  • Continued decline of tenure-track faculty and imbalance with increasing non-tenure-track faculty size
  • Narrowing job market for certain academic fields
  • Persistent reliance on external grant dollars as single metric for tracking and recognizing research productivity
  • Lack of available funding for basic research
  • Uncertainties with regard to internal policies on support for graduate assistants
  • High F&A rates resulting in reduced funds allocated to research with some granting agencies
  • Uncertainties about the source of the funds (department, college, university?) for grants that require voluntary cost sharing