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We’re pleased to announce that University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has joined IRIS! This partnership will provide UTRGV with new tools to guide policy decisions and demonstrate the impact of its research on workforce training, economic development, and researchers’ career development.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey emphasized the importance of this collaboration in advancing the university’s research capabilities and mission.

“UTRGV has shown remarkable growth, breaking internal records in research and laying a solid foundation for achieving  R1 and Emerging Research University status,”  Bailey said. “Our research enterprise has nearly quadrupled to $84.44 million over the past eight years, positioning UTRGV as a hub of innovation and discovery. “IRIS will provide us with critical data that supports policy decisions and show the many ways in which UTRGV research benefits society and the economy.”

Membership in IRIS provides UTRGV researchers access to a comprehensive dataset on the impact of funded research, including details on over 450,000 sponsored projects, 99 billion in direct cost expenditures and involvement from more than 720,000 people across nearly 140 campuses nationwide.

IRIS will also provide UTRGV with detailed reports on research expenditures, vendor, and the employment and earnings outcomes of research-trained personnel.

The IRIS partnership aligns with UTRGV’s ongoing expansion of its research capabilities and impact.

“In fiscal year 2023, UTRGV’s research expenditures increased to $42.2 million in restricted research, an annual increase of $15 million from the previous year,” said Dr. Can (John) Saygin, Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College at UTRGV.  “This substantial growth reflects our ongoing commitment to expanding our research portfolio.”

“Joining the IRIS consortium is part of our strategic planning and execution process,” Saygin said. “With access to IRIS’s datasets and analytics, we will be complementing our existing research analytics platforms with enhanced data sets.”

Saygin said this would better position UTRGV to make data-centric comparisons, prioritize alternative initiatives, and set realistic timelines for outcomes in an analytics-driven environment.

“This is the only way to accelerate UTRGV’s journey toward becoming a regional research university,” he said.

UTRGV joins several other public universities in Texas as members of IRIS, an initiative facilitated by the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC), which aims to demonstrate the collective impact of public universities in Texas.

“We’re thrilled to welcome The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley into the IRIS consortium,” said IRIS Executive Director Jason Owen-Smith, a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan.

“This partnership will help UTRGV demonstrate how their research impacts the economy and workforce of Texas, inform decisions about how to support faculty and students pursuing innovative work at the frontiers of science and engineering and contribute to national conversations about the public value of academic research and higher education. We’re looking forward to the results of this exciting new collaboration.”