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Women in motion in a dance class with text "Creating the future UCLA strategic plan  Enhance our research and creative activities"
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Goal 3: Enhance our research and
creative activities


UCLA aspires to be the leading public university for cutting edge research and creative activities. While our university is home to extremely talented researchers, scholars, experts, artists and creators, changes to our research infrastructure are needed to make it easier for those individuals to get funding for their work, manage their projects, and translate their discoveries into practical applications. A focus on engaged scholarship and new connections to Los Angeles will also enable us to deepen the impact of UCLA research and creative activities.

First-year priorities

Some of the near-term priorities for this goal include: 

  • Create an internal funding program for community-engaged scholarship
  • Plan for the Arts Gateway Complex
  • Build a proposal development team
  • Improve research administration infrastructure/culture
  • Boost innovation, entrepreneurship and tech transfer 
  • Promote open scholarship with a focus on data storage and accessibility

Expected Outcomes

Enhancing our research and creative activities will:

  • lead to discovery, creativity, innovation and improved infrastructure;
  • foster more faculty, staff and student partnerships;
  • increase community engagement;
  • inspire performances and exhibitions;
  • improve public health, sustainability, energy and food security;
  • contribute to economic development and commercial/business opportunities; and 
  • help train the future workforce.

Measures of success

Ways that we will define progress against this goal include: 

  • Increased extramural support 
  • UCLA Downtown becomes a nexus of community-engaged scholarship with active student involvement 
  • Increased number of large centers/institutes 
  • Increased interest and attendance at events related to arts, music, and theater
  • Agencies, foundations and donors seek our expertise
  • Greater community awareness/support of our goal to serve the public good
  • Increased faculty, staff and student recognition (e.g., awards, fellowships)

Stories of impact

Implementation Planning Group

Lead: Roger Wakimoto, Vice Chancellor for Research & Creative Activities

Luca McDermott Catena, Graduate Student, Chemistry

Dana Cuff, Professor of Urban Humanities, Architecture and Urban Design

Todd Grappone, Associate University Librarian for Research and Development

Sylvia Hurtado, Professor of Education

Steve Smale, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Ann Wang, President, UCLA Alumni Association