A Premier Research and Graduate University:
The University has developed organizational and support structures to significantly advance our graduate and postdoctoral education and our research enterprise. The position of Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education was created to elevate post-baccalaureate education and research through better recruitment, retention and professional development of graduate students. Additionally, new degrees have been created to provide students opportunities for interdisciplinary scholarship. For example, we recently began offering doctoral degrees in economics education and applied physiology.
Graduate applications rose 15 percent in 2010, to a record 8,330, resulting in a marked increase in selectivity; 31 percent of graduate applicants were offered admission this year. UD’s graduate students are increasingly competitive for external fellowships, in part because new programs are in place to support their dissertation- and grant-writing skills, and professional development is being delivered to prepare them for an array of career paths.
At the end of 2009, UD joined the top 100 U.S. institutions in federal science and engineering obligations. While the majority of federally sponsored research is carried out in the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences, the last two years have seen the level of funded research activity increase in every college. UD has competed very successfully for federal research dollars available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, winning awards totaling more than $64 million. These awards support a full spectrum of efforts, including work in early childhood education, advanced magnetic materials, professional development for Delaware’s teachers and the catalytic conversion of biomass to fuels.
New research centers and institutes have been seeded across campus, some in collaboration with longstanding and prospective partner institutions. New research centers include the Center for Political Communication, the UD Energy Institute, the Delaware Environmental Institute, the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance, the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute, the Delaware Design Institute and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center.
Increased funding is critical to building the research infrastructure needed to support the quality and quantity of scholarly discovery that define a premiere research university. As graduate education grows, resources—including staff to support these ventures—need to scale in a sustainable way.