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Goal B: Empowering the Engines of Discovery and Application

Chair: Gary Thompson
Members:
Gary Felton, Fred Gildow, Paul Heinemann, Mary Kennett, Bob Roberts, Ann Tickamyer

Objective 1

Maintain a robust portfolio of fundamental science to generate new knowledge

Strategies

  • Encourage and invest in faculty co-hiring opportunities with other colleges and institutes
  • Expand the research portfolio beyond traditional funding sources
  • Become more interactive with the Penn State institutes to encourage the alignment with CAS priorities

Actions/Measures of Success

  • Be proactive and responsive to co-hire opportunities (nimble) and identify co-hire partners outside of the college
  • Increase faculty participation in research sponsored by non-federal funding sources such as foundations
  • Facilitate visits and workshops by program directors from federal funding agencies 
  • Participate in university-wide “Big Data” initiatives through the Cyberscience Initiative

Objective 2

Translate knowledge into real world applications through innovation and technology development

Strategies

  • Promote commercialization of the research portfolio through IP development
  • Establish long-term relationships with major industry partners that will provide mutual benefits and achieve compatible goals
  • Develop innovative research programs and products that have significant societal impacts

Actions/Measures of Success

  • Provide opportunities for faculty to learn about the commercialization process and explore new approaches to support IP development
  • Establish a self-sustaining IP development and industry sponsored research officer within the college
  • Recognize research commercialization as a valued component of faculty scholarship
  • Actively engage industry by aligning faculty research expertise with industry interests to support research activities
  • Increase the number of technology disclosures and subsequent patents that are licensed

Objective 3

Develop research programs that result in scalable, local-to-global impacts

Strategies

  • Approach agricultural and environmental challenges as complex integrated systems that require scalable solutions
  • Develop a robust portfolio of sustained, purposeful international research activities
  • Maintain a global perspective through international research collaborations and graduate programs

Actions/Measures of Success

  • Improve efficiencies in institutional processes to encourage and facilitate international collaborations
  • Increase participation in INTAD as a dual degree graduate program that is resourced for success
  • Increase the number of international students and researchers
  • Establish a new Global Faculty Fellows program to support the development of international research

Objective 4

Strengthen institutional capacity to address complex societal issues

Strategies

  • Invest in advanced infrastructure and enabling technologies
  • Facilitate team-based research activities that focus on strategic granting opportunities
  • Invest strategically in research faculty and staff
  • Provide professional development and leadership training opportunities for faculty
  • Coordinate efforts to establish new endowed professorships and chaired positions
  • Invest in sabbatical leaves to enable faculty to re-energize their research activities

Actions/Measures of Success

  • Create a task force to examine the current state of college research facilities and develop a plan to prioritize strategic investments for the future
  • Develop faculty succession planning and strategic hiring processes

Objective 5

Train the next generation of scientists and educators to be competitive and successful in the new economy

Strategies

  • Provide professional development opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral associates
  • Develop recruiting strategies that attract the highest caliber students to our programs
  • Improve facilities required for graduate student training
  • Ensure ethics training to promote research and scientific integrity
  • Encourage participation in research commercialization activities

Actions/Measures of Success

  • Increase industry, interdisciplinary and international graduate student experiences
  • Review current college graduate program structures with the goals of attracting high quality applicants and improving student participation and retention
  • Provide interactive workshops to inform graduate students and postdoctoral associates about topics such as industry careers, fellowship applications, grant writing, and research commercialization
  • Proactively invest in graduate recruitment activities, and coordinate these efforts among the interdisciplinary and departmental programs