WSU researcher in lab coat with student

Preamble: During the next five years, we are committed to ensuring that Wayne State University becomes a world leader in discovery and knowledge application. We will increase strategic integrative research and nurture the broad ecosystem for scholarly inquiry, discovery, creativity, and knowledge application by leveraging our academic strengths, community engagement mission, and urban location. We believe that the research ecosystem is a key driver for economic growth, for revitalization in Detroit, and for addressing real-world challenges in a rapidly evolving urban environment. We further believe that engaging students at all levels enhances our research mission, as well as their participation with the university and preparation for careers.

Goal 1: Nurture and Expand the Research and Discovery Mission

While we value the multiplicity of research and creative activities produced throughout the university, we will strategically enhance our research by emphasizing thematic thrusts such as urban health challenges, recruiting appropriate faculty, ensuring the highest quality infrastructure, and diversifying our funding.


  • Prioritize areas for targeted programmatic growth and facilitate the development of self-sustaining, integrative thematic thrusts
  • Become a leader in research and development programs addressing challenges in evolving urban and multicultural environments
  • Enhance our research collaborations — for example, within the University Research Corridor — to develop more interdisciplinary, extramural partnerships
  • Ensure that the Integrative Biosciences Center becomes a global model of integrative research focusing on urban health challenges
  • Build research collaborations with local and global organizations and develop tools to facilitate community-based participatory research initiatives
  • Provide the support necessary to enhance areas of research programs

Goal 2: Develop the Infrastructure and Processes Necessary to Support Research, Knowledge Application, and Broad Programmatic Initiatives

Through the Office of Research Development, we will provide greater coordination and funding support, which will enable us to enhance the scale of our research.


  • Establish an Office of Research Development to support broad programmatic initiatives, facilitate interdisciplinary research teams, and ensure greater funding application success
  • Optimize efficient workflow processes that impact research operations
  • Maintain high-quality core facilities that serve the research mission
  • Establish strong strategic partnerships with external entities (both local and global)
  • Translate discoveries into applied knowledge for the benefit of society 

Goal 3: Grow Research-Based Revenue

We will focus on enhancing the revenue potential of our extensive research capabilities.


  • Increase overall research awards and expenditures so that they are on par with the average growth among our designated peer institutions
  • Hire faculty research groups to promote multi-investigator, large core, and center grants
  • Diversify the research funding portfolio and increase extramural research funding

Goal 4: Enhance Our "Distinctively Wayne State" Pipeline of Student Researchers

We pride ourselves on engaging not only graduate but also undergraduate students in substantive research. As the only university with both BUILD and BEST grants, we will increase opportunities for student research and participation in publications.


  • Ensure that every program provides a platform for student research within its curricula
  • Establish the President's Student Research Fellows to encourage and reward outstanding student researchers with greater recognition and stipends
  • Provide funding to encourage students to engage in enhanced research projects

Goal 5: Communicate and Expand Awareness of Excellence in Research, Discovery, and Knowledge Application

We will work to enhance the awareness of our research contributions.


  • Host scholarly forums focusing on Wayne State's targeted programs with global participation
  • Enhance the recognition of the university's leading researchers and scholars
  • Encourage faculty to become leaders in national and global scholarly organizations
  • Continue to publicize research success internally and externally