Research and Graduate Education: Strategic Priorities

Vulpe and Arndt

Our goal is two-fold.  First, to strengthen our local, national, and international impact as leaders in biomedical research, we seek to leverage the breadth of our expertise through collaboration, to attract increased research funding, and to identify ways to grow our graduate programs.  Second, we are committed to provide research infrastructure for our faculty and graduate students pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and enabling unique interdisciplinary research opportunities within our college and university.

Amplifying collaborations: The possibilities for meaningful discoveries in human and animal health are amplified through collaborations between investigators involved in basic science and those in clinical research. We will identify a mechanism to facilitate such collaborations. We will start by identifying faculty involved in basic and applied research, creating channels of communication between individuals and groups to pinpoint potential areas for collaboration. To incentivize participants, we will earmark intramural funding and will award a graduate student fellowship to a collaborating team. Our success will be measured by tracking the numbers of new collaborations.

Increasing the quality and quantity of extramural grant applications: Extramural grants are key to the UF College of Veterinary Medicine’s ability to build sound programs leveraging our considerable expertise in biomedical science across many disciplines. We will form a working group to recommend tactics for improving grant applications and will implement these when identified and measure our results to gauge success. Additionally, we will identify new mechanisms and PI criteria for seed grants. Overall metrics will include the number of research awards, level of NIH funding, Blue Ridge rankings and the number of clinical trials developed.

  • We have increased the intramural fall and spring faculty research awards to $12,000 each.
  • In collaboration with Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP), we have offered new faculty opportunities to obtain training and assistance in preparation of their NIH R01 grant submissions.

Telling our story: Important work takes place every day at our college in the research realm, much of which has the potential to address significant societal challenges. We have meaningful and moving stories to tell about that work and the many ways in which research at our college is impacting the state, the nation and the world. Our communications office will be working closely with faculty and administrators to identify strategically important stories relating to the research enterprise at UFCVM and to share these stories with multiple audiences through a variety of platforms.

  • The Office of Research & Graduate Studies has worked closely with CVM’s Office of Communications to highlight faculty accomplishments and recognition to increase public and peer awareness of our faculty’s successes. Ten news releases, 12 research-oriented podcasts for the UF Vet Med Voice podcast series and 16 research spotlights for the college website were produced between 2020 and 2022. Some news releases garnered coverage in key national media outlets or via social media resulting in broad exposure and enhancing UFCVM’s reputation nationwide.
  • The CVM’s Office of Communications enhanced visibility for research that might not have been featured in a news release but was nonetheless newsworthy by creating a “Research Spotlight” section on the college website. Additionally, we created a “Publications” page where peer-reviewed publications could be listed as they appeared on PubMed.

Growing graduate studies and enhancing student experience: We will develop strategies for expanding our graduate studies program to provide more learning opportunities that will attract more MS and PhD students to our college. Additionally, we will identify ways to enhance the overall experience of our graduate students. We plan to engage our students in this process and to use their feedback and a review of other graduate studies programs at peer institutions to develop an implementation plan for 2022.

  • We have devised a six–year plan to increase PhD graduate student enrollment and funding. We will double the number of CVM sponsored PhD students from 20 in FY23 to 40 by FY29.
  • We have increased the salary of PhD students.
  • The new Master’s in Preventive Veterinary Medicine will benefit LACS and Animal Science faculty. The program has recently been approved by UF Academic Affairs.