Research and discovery: An unrelenting quest

Wayne State is dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding through academic research, scholarship, and creative and cultural expression. This commitment is woven through our teaching and learning, with opportunities for participation for all undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

Our research culture supports the discovery of new and unexpected advances, and also the targeted development of solutions to current human challenges many of which are endemic to urban populations from improving health outcomes to clean air and water; the evolving opportunities of modern mobility; and deeper understanding of our humanness through the arts, humanities and social sciences. This problem-solving ethos has always been at the heart of Wayne State's research activities. As a public urban research university in the heart of Detroit, we are committed to advancing knowledge and solutions in areas that directly benefit the people of our urban community as well as the people of all communities. 

Our aspiration

We will expand and nurture initiatives that address local, regional and global societal challenges and real-world problems. We will do this by leveraging strengths and talent across disciplines, schools and colleges, and centers and institutes as a platform for university identity, community impact, educational access, research advancement and faculty development. 

Goal 1: Expand research initiatives to address local, regional and global societal challenges. 


  • Advance and lead research that addresses challenges in urban and multicultural environments. 
  • Support synergies across the health-related, STEM and social science research fields that support connections between basic and applied research, thematic-based research initiatives, and interprofessional education and practice.
  • Enhance mechanisms for real-world research applications through investment in community-based research initiatives. 
  • Support scholarship in the arts, humanities and social sciences as foundational to an educated and just citizenry and the development of critical thinking skills necessary for today's fast-changing world.
  • Develop new facilities to support leading-edge health sciences education and research.  
  • Lay the foundation for a National Institutes of Health Specialized Center of Research Excellence in Minority Health and Health Disparities.  

Goal 2: Further develop enabling technologies, infrastructure and workflow systems to support scholarly activity.


  • Develop best-in-class data integration and research informatics platform.
  • Support faculty in developing larger externally funded program grants.
  • Promote artistic and creative work and nurture linkages between art collections and historic-designated buildings on campus for research, education and scholarly activity.
  • Develop space to publicly display portions of the university art collection while supporting collection growth in areas that relate to our core mission.

Goal 3:  Increase research awards and expenditures.  


  • Increase interdisciplinary research and leverage strengths across schools and colleges.  
  • Recruit and retain externally funded research teams in strategic focus areas.
  • Increase the number of training grants to support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. 
  • Integrate focused technology transfer efforts with research and discovery activities within a business/operational process grounded in best practices. 
  • Advance two to three places in ranking for research expenditures.

Goal 4:  Expand recognition of scholarly and creative activity. 


  • Promote and support faculty and students as thought leaders recognized by their peers and the communities served. 
  • Expand fellowship opportunities.
  • Increase the number of faculty recognized by disciplinary societies and national academic bodies.
  • Increase the number of faculty recognized by the university with endowed or supported faculty titles.