Welcome to OU Research
The University of Oklahoma is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Very High Research institution, placing it in the highest tier of research universities in the nation. This designation is one of the most important distinguishing measures among institutions of higher education. Because proximity to an outstanding research university is among the most important factors in business start-up or relocation decisions, OU serves as a foundational engine for economic growth as the only Very High Research university in the state.
OU is an institution on the move in research and creative activity. Research expenditures in FY 2013 across all three campuses (Norman, Health Sciences Center, and OU-Tulsa) exceeded $284 million, with more than $250 million in new awards from numerous federal agencies, private companies and private foundations. During the past five years, research expenditures from funding provided directly by federal agencies increased by 45%. OU’s share of higher education research expenditures in Oklahoma for 2012 was 55.1%.
Grant funding, of course, is but one measure of faculty achievement in research and creative activity. OU faculty members are leading and participating in all aspects of the research enterprise, including receiving prestigious national and international awards and fellowships, publishing in acclaimed journals and books, serving as editors, and presenting or performing their scholarship in venues throughout the world.
A new era for research and creative activity began in 2010 with the initiation of Aspire 2020 (http://aspire2020.ou.edu), a bold planning activity leading to a 10-year strategic roadmap for research and scholarly endeavors. This initiative led to the creation of the Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment, which assists faculty in developing their research programs long term, as well as facilitating grant proposals, collaborative teams, and engagements with other research partners. Other examples of resulting actions include OU’s Strategic Initiative in Defense, Security and Intelligence Research that has led to expenditures from the U.S. Department of Defense essentially doubling over the past two years. Internally, funding programs from the Research Council have been streamlined and expanded, and the recently implemented Faculty Research Challenge Grant Program has provided more than $650,000 to initiate new projects that show promise for long-term growth.
New emphasis is now placed on multidisciplinary research and especially ambitious, imaginative engagements with federal agencies and private industry. The Norman Campus recently established a Center for Applied Research and Development to support new types of grants and contract vehicles, particularly those in areas of defense and national security. The Research Campus, where 500 private sector employees are housed among more than a dozen companies, is closing in on one million square feet of developed space. Among the advancements on the Research Campus is the new Radar Innovations Laboratory, which opened in March, 2014, the fifth Partners Place building, opening in fall, 2014, and plans for a Water Innovative Research Laboratory. Two national awards, including the Outstanding Research Park Award from the Association of University Research Parks, have recently recognized the success of the University Research Campus.
The University of Oklahoma is among top research institutions actively embracing and encouraging creativity and innovation in Oklahoma and beyond. Its scholarly endeavors improve the quality of life for Oklahomans, lead to startup companies and high-technology jobs, provide unique educational experiences for students, and help us better understand and enjoy the world in which we live.