Strategic research priorities plan
Improving the human condition
The plan seeks to enrich the human experience and advance human health and well-being through exceptionally creative, collaborative and community-engaged research. It is an outgrowth of the research goals set forth in VCU’s Quest 2025: Together We Transform strategic plan.
A group of key leaders across both VCU campuses created a bold, ambitious and strategic universitywide plan to serve as a framework to streamline investments leading to increased funding and growth, ultimately advancing excellence in research at VCU.
The plan outlines and expands on the four initiatives that seek to engage more members of the VCU community through a culture of collaboration and aspires to have greater impact on humanity by:
- Enriching the human experience
- Achieving a just and equitable society
- Optimizing health
- Supporting sustainable energy and environments
This is One VCU Research, dedicated to improving the human condition through a culture of creativity, responsiveness to sudden societal changes that fundamentally alter our lives, team science, collaborative research and recognition.
Enriching the human experience
We apply creative expression, critical analysis and advancements in knowledge and technology to enhance individual quality of life and social infrastructure.
Objective 1.1.1: Empower people to achieve their aspirations through the use of data science, autonomous systems and smart devices.
Objective 1.1.2: Enhance educational outcomes and broaden opportunities for student success by engaging in systematic studies of pedagogy and learning.
Objective 1.1.3: Enhance the human experience in a modern, digital world by advancing research in and application of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and machine learning.
Objective 1.1.4: Inform policies that improve the capacity of businesses, governments and educational institutions to better serve society through research advancements.
Objective 1.2.1: Contribute to worldwide intellectual capital by increasing production of research, scholarship and creative works.
Objective 1.2.2: Improve the awareness and understanding of contributions made by the arts and humanities to community, society, culture and the world.
Objective 1.2.3: Contribute to worldwide intellectual capital with fundamental scientific discovery.
Achieving a just and equitable society
We commit to identifying injustices and finding solutions to the most difficult social problems to build a better world, recognizing that change begins with us.
Objective 2.1.1: Identify solutions for inequality and its associated impacts by stimulating interdisciplinary scholarship focused on causes, consequences and remedies.
Objective 2.1.2: Produce diverse, inclusive and relevant scientific knowledge by increasing the number of faculty, staff and students from underrepresented groups participating in interdisciplinary research and collaborations across VCU.
Objective 2.1.3: Inform effective programs, policies and practices that lead to systems change through effective translation, communication and application of research results.
Objective 2.1.4: Discover effective methods of educating learners from diverse backgrounds and experiences and those with varied abilities.
Objective 2.2.1: Enhance community collaborations through deliberate development of VCU infrastructure to engage the community with our research mission, training for faculty and staff, community research advisory boards, and increased partnerships with local historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions.
Objective 2.2.2: Integrate stakeholder input at all stages of the research process by promoting community participation and inclusive research methods and strategies.
We use trans-, multi-and interdisciplinary approaches at scales from molecules to populations in search of new ways to preserve and restore human health.
Objective 3.1.1: Create personalized treatments and interventions through a better understanding of biology, behaviors and environment.
Objective 3.1.2: Reduce the burden of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality by achieving breakthroughs in cancer, neuroscience/addiction and cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
Objective 3.1.3: Advance health care from bench to bedside to community and back by improving the efficiency and efficacy of translational research through informed partnerships between researchers and clinicians.
Objective 3.1.4: Advance new treatments and interventions by facilitating and increasing access to clinical trials, with a particular focus on trials that may assist diverse populations.
Objective 3.2.1: Discover relationships and patterns that benefit health by coordinating efforts in data sciences and artificial intelligence.
Objective 3.2.2: Accelerate scientific progress by engaging stakeholders including community partners, ethicists, data managers and members of the data science consortium.
Objective 3.3.1: Develop, formulate and deliver novel drugs, vaccines and biologic treatments by enhancing our expertise in structural biology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacology and pharmaceutical engineering to decrease morbidity and mortality.
Objective 3.3.2: Address unmet clinical needs and health challenges by developing innovative biological technologies and medical devices, combining clinical insights with advanced engineering, physical sciences and biological sciences.
Objective 3.3.3: Ensure community engagement with and support of VCU health research and align VCU research with the most pressing community needs by fostering collaborations and sharing best practices with the community.
Supporting sustainable energy and environments
We create evidence-based solutions that contribute to a better future in a rapidly changing natural world.
Objective 4.1.1: Create a cross-disciplinary research collaborative to develop innovative products, tools, policies and processes that promote renewable energy, clean water and air resources and healthy ecosystems.
Objective 4.1.2: Expand the impact of VCU’s environmental and energy assets to build new partnerships and expand existing environmental research relationships across disciplines.
Objective 4.2.1: Create objective, data-driven and evidence-based pathways for improved environmental literacy, understanding, knowledge and practice by engaging with our communities.
Objective 4.3.1: Accelerate the development of sustainable manufacturing materials and practices through collaborations among VCU experts and other academic, governmental and industry partners.