Research and creative activity are part of the daily life of professors and students alike at Michigan State University. What scientists learn in their laboratories, becomes what they teach and transfer into the marketplace. The goal of such curiosity, creativity, and learning, is a deeper understanding of individuals, society, and the world.
In the land-grant, problem-solving tradition, Michigan State University’s research breakthroughs have improved life for people around the world, from cross-fertilization of corn in the 1870s to successful anticancer drugs in the 1960s, and then to novel approaches for treating and stopping the spread of malaria in the 21st century.
In concert with the Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, under the leadership of Stephen Hsu, is responsible for recruiting outstanding faculty through MSU's Global Impact Initiative, and maintaining synergy between research and creative scholarship and the education of graduate students through The Graduate School. The Office also:
- promotes the increase in the excellence of Michigan State University research by providing many types of support, such as:
- seed funding for promising research and creative activity
- coordination and support of the research grant proposal process
- the latest research training, facilities and infrastructure
- proactive opportunities for sponsored research
- protection and licensing of intellectual property
- support for scale-up and commercialization of ideas, and
- recognition of research excellence in faculty recruitment, retention, and career development
- oversees the ethical conduct of research, including conflict of interest issues
- implements university policies relevant to research and creative activities
- enhances the safety of researchers and research subjects
- assures compliance with state and federal regulations regarding research
- seeks ways to contribute to the state’s economic development by leveraging the university's intellectual capital.
Michigan State University has nearly 100 active research centers and institutes on campus, as well as field research sites throughout the state of Michigan. Most are interdisciplinary and several are joint initiatives between Michigan State University and other universities around the world. Examples of these research collaborations include:
- The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), a new national user facility for nuclear science, funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan. Located on-campus and operated by MSU, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes, that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth.
- The National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for the Study of Evolution in Action (BEACON), a consortium, led by Michigan State University and including North Carolina A&T State University, University of Idaho, University of Texas at Austin and University of Washington, which is exploring evolution in both natural and digital settings.
- The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to conduct transformational biofuels research.
- The 4.1m Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR) in Cerro Pachon, Chile, operated by a consortium including Michigan State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and the country of Brazil.
Research Support Facilities
The university also maintains a wide array of research support facilities, such as the Research Technology Support Facility (RTSF), which provides technical and analytical support for biomedical and agricultural research in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and mass spectrometry, and the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER), which provides advanced computational resources for research, and the Center for Statistical Training and Consulting (CSTAT), which provides training, grant development, and consulting in statistics for faculty, staff, and graduate students. The Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) supports an interdisciplinary group of MSU scholars and medical community partners performing research, clinical trials, and medical investigations focused on improving human health.
The Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies strongly encourages student research opportunities and creative activities at the undergraduate and the graduate level, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities for all students.