Walsh said he applauds the incredible talent and dedication of the Northwestern faculty and postdoctoral and graduate students who are driving the research agenda. He also praised University-wide leadership from the Board of Trustees and in the schools and central administration for supporting a thriving environment where great research can occur. He noted, too, the vital role that philanthropic donors play in the discovery process. Walsh highlighted the “broader foundation” upon which Northwestern’s research enterprise relies: Administrative staff within the Office for Research, schools, units and URICs.
“Our success is rooted in strategy, tactics and hard work,” Walsh said. “There are many incredible people across this University to thank. Among them are administrative staff members who provide an immense amount of support for the outstanding work taking place in the Northwestern research community, doing so in a variety of ways.”
Over the last fiscal year, Northwestern’s Office for Sponsored Research has reviewed and submitted more than 3,500 proposals totaling nearly $3.4 billion and executed more than 4,400 contracts, in addition to setting up more than 3,000 awards to enable the current record setting research funding total. All these numbers represent record highs.
Among those awards were two significant wins for Northwestern’s cross-disciplinary efforts. The first was a $46 million, five-year renewal from the National Institutes of Health for the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. The second was a $25 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology that will support the second phase of the Center for Hierarchical Materials and Design, an interinstitutional hub for high-tech materials research hosted by Northwestern.
Other staff members within the Office for Research provide a range of resources and expertise. These include world class care for the animal-based research that is foundational for the University’s ever-growing clinical trial activities which, in turn, lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic methods for some of humanity’s most significant diseases. Staff also help safeguard human subjects in University research and provide training and support to ensure Northwestern research is conducted safely and in compliance with federal regulations, including those related to export controls and research integrity.
“It takes concerted effort and investment in our research infrastructure to ensure that Northwestern remains among the world’s top research universities,” Walsh said. “As we continue to grow and pursue breakthroughs, we will remain strategic and collaborative in our approach with stakeholders across the University to support the institution’s mission of bold discovery with societal impact.”