Our Vision Research
As part of its effort to reach Tier One status, UTSA aims to become a premier public research university.
External research funding and expenditures have grown exponentially since 2007, and this growth is projected to continue. UTSA spent nearly $57 million on research in fiscal year 2011, an increase of almost 17 percent over the previous year and an increase of almost 76 percent over the past five years.
AREAS OF FOCUS UTSA identified five multidisciplinary areas to focus our efforts for academics and research: health, security, energy and environment, human and social development, and sustainability. The largest research programs are in the biological and other life sciences, followed by engineering and the physical sciences.
RESEARCH RESULTS Disclosures, patents and other intellectual property metrics are increasing rapidly. For example, UTSA signed a multimillion dollar licensing contract and Sponsored Research Agreement with Merck Pharmaceuticals for vaccine development. UTSA professors have been granted millions of dollars in funding for further research in health and STEM education.
METHODS To achieve our goal of becoming a premier public research university, UTSA has identified several goals outlined in the Strategic Implementation Plan.
These goals include:
- Providing incentives and support for collaborative research
- Increasing support for faculty and students
- Making senior faculty appointments to stimulate research development and growth
- Secure new research space and optimize existing space
To increase external funding for research, UTSA’s plan includes:
- Selective hiring of senior (“established”) faculty, and entry-level faculty appointments
- Creation of multidisciplinary institutes to focus activity in the five areas of emphasis and facilitate “center of excellence” funding from federal, state, and private sources
- Development of partnerships with educational, research and governmental entities
- Use of seed funding programs to promote innovative ideas and collaborative projects
- Expansion of support for graduate students by increasing the quality of graduate programs, attracting high quality faculty, and supporting research and instructional missions
The doctoral programs offered at UTSA contribute to the university’s focus on research. With the growing level of funding comes increasing opportunities for student participation in research at all levels.
UTSA’s goals for graduate programs include:
Strengthen UTSA’s current doctoral programs
To strengthen UTSA’s doctoral programs, the university has provided additional funding to support graduate students, has formalized a program review using external experts, and is developing more aggressive recruitment activities to attract high quality applicants. Each program will develop measureable goals to evaluate performance.
Develop and introduce new graduate programs
New graduate programs will be developed with Texas’ regional needs in mind. UTSA’s Strategic Plan has outlined five areas of focus: health, security, energy and environment, human and social development, and sustainability. Because of the importance of these areas of research to our region and the broader scope of our nation and world, UTSA’s new programs will be designed to focus on these areas.
Programs recently offered or now in development to address these needs include:
- Ph.D. in Psychology program begins Fall 2012
- Ph.D. in Translational Sciences program begins Fall 2012
- Ed.D. in Child and Adolescent Development
- Ph.D. in Economics
- Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering
Expand graduate programs through partnerships
Partnering with the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, military, government and local industry has created new research opportunities. Senior-level faculty appointments in cyber security, biomedical engineering, infectious diseases, nanoscale physics, and energy and environment will facilitate the ongoing leadership of those disciplines in funded research at UTSA.