Strategies for Increasing Research at a PUI
In a series of articles, we will present the newest in research administration from the Journal of Research Administration. Read the full JRA here.
The purpose of this study was to analyze and develop an in-depth understanding of the characteristics of an R3, predominantly undergraduate institution of higher education with a high-performing externally-funded research portfolio. This study used a qualitative single-bounded case study approach and utilized a focus group structure for the interviews. The research questions sought to identify the perceived factors, characteristics, and resources believed to motivate researchers to participate and succeed in externally-funded research. Active faculty researchers comprised the target audience and focus group participants for this study. The results revealed a cohesive infrastructure with high levels of mutual gratitude and respect among the diverse groups of individuals and the entities that constitute the research infrastructure. The collective efforts to support research, funded and unfunded, is immense and strategic at this institution. Researchers believe the leadership embodies the definition of transformational leadership by utilizing their personal experiences and knowledge to create positive change, motivate and encourage, and build confidence and respect toward and from their researchers. In addition, the leadership recognizes the need for continuous change and improvement of the research infrastructure and actively acknowledge, seek, and act on the needs of the research community. This institution has actively facilitated a culture shift to focus on research at a predominantly undergraduate, teaching-focused institution. This study identified and explored the myriad of resources provided to faculty researchers in the area of research and scholarship and identified those found most beneficial by the researchers. It identified the perceptions and attitudes regarding infrastructural resources in support of research activities. The results of this study will help doctoral level PUIs strengthen their faculty scholarship base, develop a more robust and efficient infrastructure, and increase their externally-funded research portfolio. Successful and meritorious faculty will further engage students and positively affect student recruitment and retention.
Read the full manuscript here.
Dr. Tracy Eisenhower, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Research Institute