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Letter from the Vice President & Associate Vice President 

Dear Colleagues,

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We would like to warmly welcome all of you back toanother exciting year in U Research! As we all know, FY20 was an unprecedented year and FY21 also presented new challenges for our Utah communities. As we embark on a new academic year, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for our U research community and the resiliency all of you have shown throughout the ongoing pandemic. U research activities and operations continue to thrive because of our remarkableresearch community and we are grateful for all that you do to advance research excellence and innovation at the U.

We are proud to share that your efforts have contributed to another historical record for ourresearch community. In FY 2021, the U reached $641M in research funding and 2400 awarded grants - the largest amount ever at the U! Congratulations to the U research community for reaching this remarkable milestone!

In this U Research Update, you’ll find other special highlights and achievements at the U including the U’s research impact on economic growth and development, equity, diversity, and inclusion in research, and the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.

As a society, innovative research is needed no more than ever to find impactful solutions on a global pandemic that has affected us in so many ways. Thank you for your support to U research and your dedication in taking care of our campus communities. We wish you the best of luck on your research endeavors this year and hope to see you all again soon! 

Cultivate a national and international leading research community through excellence, innovation, and interdisciplinary research. 

Provide resources and support to University of Utah’s researchers to foster an environment of creativity, discovery, and advanced knowledge. 

Integrity – We value responsible and ethical practices that align with compliance and regulation policies. The importance of honesty and transparency is essential to conducting responsible quality research.

Diversity  We value diversity both in faculty and fields of research. Our efforts are dedicated to creating an inclusive and diverse environment to create research that represents the global community we serve.

Respect  We value a respectful research culture that encourages civility and consideration of others. We strive to facilitate a welcoming and safe research campus that acts on courtesy, compassion, and awareness of all groups and individuals.

Collaboration  We value collaboration and teamwork that reflects interdisciplinary fields of research. Working together as a unified institution is integral to achieve the university’s research mission and goals.

Innovation – We value innovation and creativity to find impactful solutions that address the challenges we face as a society. We are focused on conducting transformative research that will result in groundbreaking discoveries in all fields of study.

 

Facts & Figures (FY2021)

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Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Highlight

Over the past year, the VPR office has consulted with staff, faculty, and students across campus to discuss how to make the research enterprise more just and accessible to current and prospective Utah residents of all backgrounds. Here is what the VPR office has done so far to increase opportunities that support equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research at the U.

What have we done so far?

Institutional Funding Support

Institutional Funding Support is now available for grants proposals that are specifically aimed at funding EDI-related research projects. So far, the U has provided funds to support a $1.1M grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to the REFUGES program. Apply for institutional support here for EDI research studies. 

Administrative supplements to recruit and retain diverse researchers

Administrative supplements are available to support the recruitment and retention of research personnel from groups that have been historically excluded from higher education institutions. The U’s administrative supplement program generally follows NSF’s guidelines for the eligible persons, but also broadens the diversity requirements to include LGBTQIA+ eligibility.

Hired a grant development specialist

Dr. Mercedes Ward is the VPR Office’s first grant development specialist to support research strategic planning and grant development specifically in equity, diversity, and inclusion. Dr. Ward will play a pivotal role in nurturing alliancesbetween and among faculty at the U, funding agencies, and communities to develop goals and implementation plans for the institutional EDI research portfolio.

Implement new education and training

The VPR Office has revised and developed new courses through the Office of Research Education to address EDI concerns in human subjects research. This includes a Best Practice Network that will work directly with sexual and gender minority populations in the research context, as well as sessions from the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center about including diverse populations in research.

Demographics to enhance diversity in research participants

The VPR office will collect demographics to track the diversity of research participants  for all studies conducted at the U which will serve as a baseline to assess how effective different community research outreach programs improve access to these novel research interventions. In addition, the VPR office has created a public facing webpage called Study locater that lists studies in need of research participants. The content is written in plain language to address potential health literacy concerns in both English and Spanish. In addition, the VPR Office is piloting new translation contractors to increase the number of studies to recruit non-English speaking participants. 

 

COVID Research at the U

 

Covid Seed

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Last Updated: 9/17/21