Bold Discovery a Northwestern Hallmark

Posted February 14, 2018 by Jay Walsh

Great research universities improve lives and transform society. They are engines of innovation that advance human understanding, spur invention, and solve important challenges of all kinds. They create new knowledge while educating students, both equally important goals for Northwestern.

Cancer treatments. Next-generation energy sources. Better understanding of the economic implications of policy choices. Insights into the relationship between people and their urban environments. Theatrical and musical expression that give voice to issues, identity, and culture. Glimpses into the origin and fate of the universe. These are just a few examples of the marvelous scholarship that occurs at Northwestern every day.

At Northwestern, our extraordinary research enterprise continues to grow and produce breakthroughs in many fields — from an array of sciences 
to the arts and humanities. This year’s Impact Report highlights a sampling of the depth and breadth of the University’s research activity over the past 12 months. It also provides a snapshot of some key metrics that help demonstrate the scope and value of our contributions. Once again, our annual research funding marked a new record: $676.5 million, 4 percent more than last year and 54 percent greater than a decade ago. Awards are received in advance of the proposed research, and so awards presage the most meaningful aspect of our success — the discovery of new knowledge. Whether by exploring the farthest reaches of the cosmos, improving health, strengthening public policy, or inspiring human creativity and imagination, Northwestern research is extending the parameters of the possible and redefining what society can achieve.

Northwestern is a community fueled by a passion for curiosity and a desire to pursue “big questions” with global implications. Our research ecosystem supports and promotes activities within vibrant, established fields, as well as through cross-disciplinary collaboration that produces bold, new ways of thinking. The ecosystem helps propel both basic research, where discovery is done without a definitive end in mind, and translational research, where new knowledge is aimed at an anticipated societal impact.

It is enormously gratifying to see Northwestern continue to thrive. It is equally exciting to consider all of the ways that our talent, knowledge, and the commitment to our mission will produce pathbreaking discoveries that create a better future.