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Georgia Southern University expands research infrastructure

eagle headGeorgia Southern University is building its capacity to support the variety of research undertaken by its faculty, from basic scientific research, to community-based research, to service research and more. As its capacity for meaningful research grows, so will the University’s value to Georgia and its citizens.

‘Georgia Southern University is a typical emerging research institution,” said its president, Bruce Grube. ‘When the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classified us as a doctoral research university in March 2006, we knew we’d need to develop innovative ways of supporting the research that already existed and encouraging new projects. Right now we are developing and nurturing an infrastructure that will support faculty research today and into the future.”

The infrastructure Grube refers to is the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs (ORSSP), which provides support to faculty researchers for proposal development, proposal submission and project management. ORSSP is lead by Charles Patterson, associate vice president for research and an experienced research administrator.

‘Developing a successful proposal, receiving a grant, and managing the compliance and fiscal reporting of a grant program are labor-intensive tasks,” said Patterson. ‘We provide support that facilitates these tasks, which in turn gives faculty members more opportunity to prepare additional proposals. Our goal is to reach a level of consistency in funding, so that the University can depend on income from grants, contracts, and sponsored programs.”

Georgia Southern University’s Office of Academic Affairs surveyed faculty in all colleges across the University to gather data on what faculty believed a ‘doctoral research university” included. Most agreed that it should include more graduate-level and doctoral programs and more research infrastructure support. Faculty also reported that they continue to search for balance between teaching and research.

‘Some of the best teachers are also the best researchers, because they have their hands on their scholarship,” said Patterson. ‘I am pleased to see an increasing number of successful research proposals, and we will continue build capacity to serve these faculty efforts.”

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