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Research is an integral part of the educational process at the University. Opportunities to participate in research are available for both graduates and undergraduates, and may result in published papers for graduate and some undergraduate students.
A distinct feature of the University’s research community is the extent to which it fosters interdisciplinary research. A number of research centers and institutes have been established in recent years to facilitate collaboration among faculty who have common research interests and objectives but who are located in different academic units. One outcome of this interdisciplinary emphasis has been the growth of joint academic programs leading to joint degrees.
Exciting research is undertaken jointly by faculty from both engineering and medicine in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Physics, and in other departments which bridge academic divisions. Other engineering faculty have research ties with environmental sciences and physics faculty. Medical faculty and biology faculty work closely together on a variety of research projects, as do physics and chemistry faculty. Research collaborations are common among non-scientists as well. Law faculty work in conjunction with business faculty and have launched a center jointly with psychology faculty. Business faculty and faculty from various humanities departments bring their separate viewpoints and research strategies to bear on common issues. Interdisciplinary research provides opportunities for shared use of facilities, and for synergism in research efforts and augmented funding.
In fiscal year 1996-97, research at the University was supported by over 1900 separate awards totaling $160 million dollars from federal and state agencies, industry, and foundations. This represents an increase in both the total dollar amount and the average size of each grant in recent years and, given the reality of shrinking available research funding, reflects the University’s growing research stature and prominence.
The University demonstrates its commitment to research by providing internal financial funding in certain circumstances. The University provides funding for particularly meritorious research which might otherwise have brief funding interruptions, thus maintaining continuity in important, ongoing projects. Through the Bankard Foundation endowment, year-long research grants support research in economics and government studies, and in another program, summer grants support faculty engaged in research in the humanities and social sciences.
The fine University Library System, consisting of thirteen libraries, supports research efforts at the University with a full range of information services including Internet-accessible on-line catalogs, searchable computerized literature databases, inter-library loan and delivery services, and electronic text and digital media centers.
The knowledge being disseminated and the technology being developed today at the University of Virginia will play a vital role in how we live in the twenty-first century. More detailed information about research and funding at the University is available on-line from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service.
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