Research and Scholarship at UND

The UND community of faculty, students and staff are committed to the advancement of knowledge through research and scholarship, and to the advancement of the arts and culture through creative endeavors.  In 2017, the University embarked on an ambitious plan to join the list of the highest ranked research universities in the nation (Carnegie R1 – Doctoral University, Highest Research Activity). This plan seeks to focus the research of all faculty and students on several Grand Challenges including energy, environmental sustainability, human health, rural communities, autonomous systems including but not limited to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Big Data.  These broad, multifaceted and globally important Grand Challenges will be met at UND through the efforts of faculty and students across all academic disciplines. It is expected that the impact of these Grand Challenge efforts on the experience of our graduate students will be life changing both during their studies and in their subsequent professional lives. As well as immersion in their disciplinary studies, students will have the opportunity to learn the important skills of collaboration, cooperation across disciplines, and public presentation of their scholarship. They will also have the opportunity to undertake professional development activities that will better prepare them for life after UND, whether that is in an academic setting, government or the private sector.

UND School of Graduate Studies

In addition to providing stipends and tuition waivers to qualified degree seeking students, the School of Graduate Studies supports research with Summer Doctoral Fellowships, which allow Ph.D. candidates to spend full time on their research, and supports doctoral student conference travel and dissertation research.

The School of Graduate Studies provides two primary annual events designed to showcase graduate student research; the 3MT (3 Minute Thesis) competition and GRAD (Graduate Research Achievement Day). While GRAD is the largest single research event on the UND campus and features the research and creative scholarship of students, both events focus on communicating the significance and value of graduate student research to nonspecialist audiences, and thus also provide professional development training on successfully and clearly articulating complex research to public audiences. In addition, the School of Graduate Studies provides an annual Professional Development Workshop series, focused on topics ranging from Research Ethics and Methods to Grant Writing to Career Planning; topics may vary each year. Detailed information on these and other programs can be found on the School of Graduate Studies website.

Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development

The School of Graduate Studies works closely with the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development to provide opportunities for graduate students. The mission of the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development is to serve the broad research community of the University of North Dakota, a community that is instrumental in meeting the strategic aims of the University which are described in the University of North Dakota’s Strategic Plan. The aim is to expand and strengthen the University’s commitment to research, scholarship, and creative activity as a means of sustaining and extending the knowledge base, enriching the teaching and learning environment, and enhancing economic development in the community, region, state, nation, and across the world. The hallmark of a major research university is its ability to link faculty across all of the institution’s disciplines toward the creation of new ideas and the generation of new technologies. The Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development takes a variety of steps designed to create and sustain an environment where faculty and students representing varying disciplines can collaborate in the search for solutions to the world’s major problems. To this end, UND research administration develops resources, both human and technical, to enhance research and creative productivity; disseminates information about research and research opportunities; funds research and creative activities by faculty and graduate students; formulates and administers various policies concerning research to ensure that projects conform both to federal and state guidelines and to the intellectual and academic objectives of the University; stimulates private sector relationships leading to commercial development of the products of the university research enterprise; and manages the intellectual property of the University. Two major units reporting to the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development are the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Corporate Engagement & Commercialization.

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) provides information and assistance on funding sources and oversees compliance with all federal, state, and University regulations for conducting research. OSP accomplishes this by developing, implementing, and monitoring policies related to sponsored programs, such as those for the Institutional Review Board, Animal Use and Care Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, Radiation Safety and Hazardous Materials Committee, Conflict of Interest Committee, and financial administration of grants and contracts. OSP prepares agreements and contracts, and acts as the University’s representative to all sponsors. Its roles and responsibilities are to assist faculty/staff in locating potential funding sources; to provide information regarding sponsor requirements and proposal preparation; to conduct administrative reviews of proposals; to assure compliance with University and sponsor regulations concerning conflict of interest, export controls, research involving animals, research involving human subjects, and misconduct in science or creative activities. Students wishing more information about sponsored research and compliance should contact the OSP.

The Office of Corporate Engagement & Commercialization (CE&C) is responsible for developing and managing UND research and intellectual property relationships with the commercial sector and supporting the University’s economic development priorities. Based upon State Board of Higher Education policy, UND has detailed policies regarding intellectual property, patents, and copyrights. CE&C is responsible for the protection and commercialization of University research innovations including: aerospace sciences, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS); computer sciences; medicine and health sciences; and engineering and physical sciences. CE&C will provide services to draft, file, and prosecute patent applications for UND inventions. CE&C will define and market technology portfolios of inventions to promote new business ventures and build business alliances to accelerate commercialization of valuable UND research output including transition of inventions to the marketplace. Services include fostering research relationships with commercial partners, performing analysis of patentability, value, and marketability to identify strategic direction as a licensing, joint venture, or spin-off company opportunity. CE&C serves as a resource for drafting and negotiating legal agreements, such as confidentiality, material transfer, and licensing agreements, with business partners. CE&C also works closely with the Technology Accelerator, a facility for growing technology companies on the west edge of campus. Students wishing more information about intellectual property rights should contact the CE&C.