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The Provost's Initiatives to Enhance Research and Scholarship (PIERS)

The Provost’s Initiatives to Enhance Research and Scholarship (PIERS) will build off of existing practices and identify new approaches aimed at elevating ѿý’s international research profile and continuing to enhance the university’s competitiveness for research funding. PIERS will create a virtuous cycle of “vision-action-impact” to drive growth and recognition of Vanderbilt research and scholarship that are resourced by a diverse and sustainable matrix of sponsorship.

Learn more about this initiative by visiting the PIERS.



By planning, organizing, and supporting the research and scholarship efforts of its faculty and students, Vanderbilt aims to advance directives outlined in the Academic Strategic Plan.

The initiative’s overall motto is “shape opportunity; seize opportunity,” reflecting its interlinked goals of shaping the national research dialogue and seizing opportunities to support research and scholarship in an increasingly competitive international environment

will work with Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente to oversee PIERS’ implementation.

Initial Efforts

  • : This recently announced council appointed by the provost will provide critical consultative input to advance all PIERS efforts. The VURC will also seek to identify and leverage current strengths and programs with a special emphasis on facilitating collaborations amongst all the faculty;
  • : The program will provide a new service that provides support for faculty-led projects to move forward with the development of competitive proposals for prestigious external funding opportunities, while also enabling relationship-building activities with sponsors;
  • Vanderbilt IT and Research IT Collaboration: These efforts will be informed by the recommendations of a faculty advisory committee on research IT, and special projects will be advanced in consultation with VUIT and representatives from the academic units. Areas of focus will include basic research IT and advanced research core services;
  • Enhanced Common Resources: The initiatives will expand upon Vanderbilt’s relationships with federal agencies and foundations through coordinated efforts with theOffice of Federal Relationsand theOffice of Corporate and Foundation Relations; foster public-private partnerships for research through alliances with industry and regional entities such as; advance pathways from discovery to invention and impact;
  • Website Reorganization and Design: Thewebsite has been redesigned to better direct faculty, students and staff to resources and to better promote the ground-breaking discoveries and scholarship taking place. The site is currently in a soft-launch stage and undergoing continued updates and refinements.Feedback is welcome; and
  • Administrative Improvements: PIERS is designed to bring transparency, openness and streamlining to all research operations and processes including those for research cores, various forms of internal “seed” funding, and research administrative functions.