Road to R1

Research universities can prepare future professionals to tackle and create solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education system attempts to classify and distinguish universities in terms of their research productivity, with Research One (R1) being the pinnacle of distinction.

What does it take to reach R1?

To reach our lofty but achievable research goals will require progress in each of the seven measures monitored by Carnegie. We have made tremendous progress in recent years, moving from the third tier – or R3 designation – to R2, and with concentrated effort and investment, we can reach R1 designation.

Seven measures of the Carnegie Classification System

  1. Science and engineering research expenditures
  2. Science and engineering research Staff
  3. PH.D.s awarded in science and engineering

  4. PH.D.s awarded in social sciences
  5. PH.D.s awarded in humanities
  6. Other doctorates
  7. Non-Science and engineering research expenditures

Where are we now?

During the 2021–2022 academic year, SMU launched three external searches to fill strategic leadership positions that supported our research and graduate studies ambitions: 1) Vice Provost for Research and Chief Innovation Officer 2) Dean of the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies and Vice Provost for Graduate Education and 3) the Director of SMU’s Data Science Institute.

Taking the recommendation of faculty-led task forces and working in consultation with the deans, SMU also advertised cluster hires in fall 2021 for two areas of strategic research excellence: 1) 21st Century Technology and Education and 2) Earth Hazards and National Security. These clusters will enhance areas of established research strength at SMU and will serve as a model for future cluster hires to support SMU’s research and scholarly/creative ambitions.

Plans are underway to advertise a data science cluster hire in fall 2023, once our new Data Science Institute director comes onboard.

Related Links