Research, discoveries, innovations, and solutions define the Rutgers research enterprise. That is why my vision, and the mission of the Rutgers Office for Research, is to support the research, scholarship, and creative endeavors of all Rutgers faculty.
Since joining Rutgers as the Senior Vice President for Research in 2021, I have focused on streamlining and simplifying the support researchers need to succeed. Doing so enables researchers to make a positive impact on the quality of life in New Jersey and beyond while boosting the state’s economy.
As research becomes more complex, collaboration and inclusivity of experts across disciplines and between the university and industry partners are more critical than ever. Focusing on how to establish a rich environment for research partnerships to flourish is one of the cornerstones of the research and innovation foundation represented in four pillars: policy, process, data, and partnerships.
Driving policy change is essential to encourage a culture that’s inclusive of a rich diversity of opinions and professional expertise, leading to innovation that benefits society. My background as a faculty member and experimental geneticist keeps me connected with the challenges and needs of faculty and transformative experiences for research students. By partnering with key constituencies, we design policy that supports the current and future needs of research and innovation.
As the leader of a university wide office that oversees many research and innovation support functions at Rutgers, ensuring our processes support a 21st-century enterprise is second to none. We are consistently working with key constituencies, including our university wide administrative partners, to improve business processes and implement cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence. Developing an organizational culture that seeks constant improvement is difficult, but I am lucky to work with research professionals who are among the best leaders in their respective fields.
Without access to reliable and timely data, it is difficult to make decisions that impact a large, complex research enterprise. With over 300 research centers, more than 40 core facilities, over $900M in sponsored awards, being data informed allows our team to communicate effectively and make the best decisions about where to invest limited funding to support the growth of the research and innovation enterprise.
Finally, without partnerships between the Rutgers research and innovation enterprise and industry, cross-pollination of ideas that result in commercialization, and ultimately benefits to society, would be a rare occurrence.
Rutgers is a world-renowned, cutting-edge research institution that is on the verge of becoming a $1B research institution. Thanks to the efforts of our research faculty, administrators, leaders, the Office for Research staff, and industry partners, I am excited about the future. By focusing on driving culture change through policy, developing efficient and effective processes, being data-informed, and focusing on partnerships, I know Rutgers’ research and innovation enterprise will reach its full potential as a primary hub of innovation.