Impact Report 2018: Growing Depth, Breadth of Northwestern Research

By Jay WalshFebruary 15, 2019

Creating knowledge with beneficial social impact is core to Northwestern’s research and teaching mission. That’s always been the case. Over the past decade, we’ve significantly grown the depth and breadth of our research enterprise, investing in a discovery ecosystem that allows thought leaders from every field to flourish. This happens in many ways, organically and by design — including through cross-disciplinary collaboration, such as what occurs within our 50+ University Research Institutes and Centers.

But no matter where you look on our campuses, you will encounter an incredible array of talent, making Northwestern a vibrant, exciting place. It’s a place where scientific curiosity, creativity, and passion combine to pursue solutions to the world’s most important challenges. It’s also where the arts and humanities are celebrated for their expressive power and ability to investigate the human experience. Truly, there is a universe reflected in our University.

Across all fields, Northwestern has cultivated tremendous disciplinary strengths. Because of this success, we can bring together people and ideas in unique ways to explore opportunities for transformative innovation at the intersection of fields, too. This even happens in a setting like the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, where one might expect only to find “medical” faculty. In fact, though, faculty from the schools of medicine, engineering, and the liberal arts combine their expertise to develop new disease diagnostics and treatments. As a result of this collaborative commitment, the Lurie Cancer Center this year earned a near-perfect score for excellence from the National Cancer Institute, along with a grant award of $31.5 million.

That award was part of the overall $702.1 million in sponsored research funding that Northwestern attracted in FY2018. This overall figure represents yet another record-breaking total and a 4 percent increase over the previous year, underscoring the University’s multifaceted research strengths.

While the funding is impressive and vital, it matters most because of what it can provide: the ability for Northwestern faculty, students, and staff to pursue pathbreaking discoveries that improve the world and deepen our understanding of humanity’s place in it. Read the Impact Report, here.

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