Research and Creative Endeavors

Last updated on June 9, 2015

Research and Creative Endeavors Goal: San Diego State University will continue to enhance its research and creative endeavors profile, with particular emphasis on building areas of excellence and addressing national and international challenges.

Consistent with the research and creative endeavors goal outlined in the strategic plan, the university has invested $16,849,000 in one-time funding and $3,578,760 in base budget funds that support research and creative endeavors strategic plan initiatives.

Initiative 1: Foster the Development and Growth of Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors

A total of $14,090,500 in one-time funding and $3,400,760 in base budget funds have been allocated for initiatives that foster the development and growth of excellence in research and creative endeavors. These funds support the following initiatives:

  • Invest funds for tenured and tenure-track faculty to advance existing and future areas of scholarly excellence.
  • Investments provided support to identify areas of excellence. Four areas of excellence were identified through a campus wide process that focused on faculty led initiatives, on-campus peer and administrative review as well as external reviewers. Four areas included the 1) Clinical and Cognitive Neurosciences, 2) Viromics, 3) Climate Change and Sustainability Studies, and 4) Human Dynamics in a Mobile Age. Four faculty will be hired across multiple departments in each area of excellence. Eight faculty, two in each area of excellence, were hired in 13/14 and another seven faculty were hired in 14/15.
  • In May of 2015, three additional areas of excellence were selected from a field of 15 applications: 1) Blue Gold: Mitigating the Effects of Water Scarcity, 2) Digital Humanities and Global Diversity, and 3) Smart Health Institute (SHI): Wearable Biomedical Sensors for Precision Medicine. Twelve additional faculty, four in each area of excellence, will be hired across multiple departments over the next two years.
  • For more information about the areas of excellence, see the areas of excellence email or visit the areas of excellence website.
  • Build a research endowment through private sources (see Resources and Revenue Plan section).
  • Investments to the Comprehensive Campaign, outlined in the Resource and Revenue plan, support this initiative.
  • Invest funds for improvements in facilities and equipment essential to sustaining scholarly activity and productivity.
  • Investments provide funds for improvements in facilities and equipment, including targeted purchase of shared equipment for faculty research and core facilities. An open call to all colleges resulted in shared equipment and facilities within six colleges.
  • Foster interdisciplinary collaborative research and projects.
  • Investments provide support for multi-disciplinary research. For example, investments support additional assigned time for faculty to write large, multi-disciplinary grants. A new program was developed and announced to all colleges that offers funds on a competitive basis to provide assigned time at replacement cost to faculty working on larger, collaborative efforts. Funds have been committed to both support faculty assigned time to develop large, cross-disciplinary grants as well as matching funds required to be competitive for large training grants. Personnel from Research Advancement are providing additional support with grant writing and budget development for cross-disciplinary grants, e.g. a recently submitted NSF proposal co-written by 2 areas of excellence: Climate Change and Sustainability and Human Dynamics in a Mobile Age.
  • Invest funds to strengthen and build infrastructure essential to sustaining scholarly activity and productivity, including planned enhancements of research infrastructure envisioned in the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) report.
  • Investments provide funds for equipment, assigned time, and to implement a pre-grant review process. A University Research working group was formed in Fall 2013, utilizing the extant URC committee and adding additional members. Based on recommendations of the NCURA report, new software solutions for electronic proposal routing and time sheets have been purchased, implemented or are undergoing implementation to increase the efficiency and ease of research administration on campus. A new export control position has been filled to help faculty and colleges understand and comply with new federal export control regulations and procedures.
  • Invest funds for faculty career-long scholarly productivity, including peer-to-peer mentoring for junior and mid-career faculty, grant editing, external review of grants, and summer support programs.
  • Investments provide funds to support external review of grants by reviewers in the disciplinary field at least 5 weeks prior to submission to the funding agency. A call describing the program has been made to all college Deans.
  • Invest funds in support of the University Grants Program.
  • Investments provide base budget funding for the University Grants Program which was previously funded by one-time funds after funding from the Chancellor's Office was no longer available. More information about the University Grants Program.
  • Invest funds for competitive graduate stipends.
  • Institutional funding has been committed to support training grants.
  • Build web-based resources to assist grant writers in incorporating SDSU diversity metrics into impact statements.
  • Investments provide funds to support grant writers.

Initiative 2: Enhance Creative Arts on Campus

A total of $186,500 in one-time funding and $80,000 in base budget funding has been allocated to enhance creative arts on campus. These funds support the following initiative:

  • Promote and leverage the visibility of the arts on campus and beyond the university by investing funds for “mini” arts events on campus, utilizing the Open Air Theatre, Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, Aztec Green, and Love Library as appropriate.
  • Investments provided support for community arts events on campus. A working group was formed in fall 2013. The Campus Art Events working group developed the Arts Alive initiative and identified four goals: increase awareness of events and opportunities, increase attendance at art events, increase arts making opportunities, and expand arts events and practices into the curriculum. The working group has focused its efforts on increasing access to and visibility of performing and visual arts on campus. In addition to the hiring of a faculty member to lead the initiative, a series of "pop-up" musical, theatrical, and artistic performances were held on campus and visual art works were created in over 20 campus locations. Over 35,000 students, faculty and staff experienced Arts Alive events in 13/14.
  • In 14/15, the number of pop-up performances doubled from the previous year. In addition, Arts Alive supported activities such as the Campanile Walkway Painting Project, the art benches, and the poetic picnic. Over 100,000 people experienced arts events in 14/15. Arts Alive is currently collaborating across the campus to pilot integration of arts awareness opportunities into course syllabi.
    More information about the Arts Alive Initiative.

Initiative 3: Reinforce the Value of Research for Student Success

The following initiatives are supported by funds allocated in the Student Success goal. These initiatives reinforce the value of research for student success:

  • Invest funds to expand and support the Student Research and Scholarship Symposium as a signature SDSU program.
  • Included in the Student Success goal are investments that provide support for student research and the research symposium. An Undergraduate Research working group was formed in fall 2013.
  • Expand opportunities for undergraduate scholarship across our diverse student population through innovative courses, experiences, and engagement.
  • See information in the Student Success goal on the mini-grant program.
  • Improve student preparation for an innovation-based economy by fostering entrepreneurial experiences.
  • Included in the Student Success goal are investments that provide support for initiatives. An Entrepreneurial Experiences working group was formed in fall 2013.
  • Prioritize support for student research and scholarly activity, scholarships, and fellowships through philanthropy.
  • Investments to the comprehensive Campaign, outlined in the Resource and Revenue plan, support this initiative.
  • Publicize SDSU's identity as a top research university that serves a diverse student body.
  • Included in the Community and Communications goal are investments that provide publicity support for research. A University Research working group was formed in fall 2013 and is currently implementing initiatives to support this goal. Moreover, a science writer and a videographer have been hired to support this initiative.

Investments in Critical Support Needs:

A total of $2,117,000 in one-time funds and $98,000 in base budget funds were allocated to address critical support needs. Critical support needs investments include support for:

  • San Diego Research Foundation
  • Joint Doctoral Programs