DU cultivates a research model that serves students and improves the world

The teacher-scholar model is at the heart of DU’s identity. It’s what draws great faculty members and graduate students from across the world to this institution. Consummate experts in their fields, our faculty is driven to expand knowledge while educating and mentoring the next generation of thinkers and doers in the classroom. 

DU, recently designated as a Research 1 (R1) institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, has dedicated itself to producing knowledge that improves the world. And we’re always setting our sights even higher. Having earned Carnegie’s top research designation, DU has been recognized as a university engaged in the highest levels of research activity. But we are DU—researchers and educators. And so, we will boldly pursue a research culture that preserves and even strengthens our teacher-scholar model.  

We’ve been laying the foundation for this R1 achievement for more than a decade, doubling our research activity by producing exploratory and fundamental research and expanding the world’s idea of what’s possible. We’re engaged in translational research—deploying complex and new ideas to solve problems. Our faculty use their research to engage with others on campus and off, orienting their knowledge to the local or global community. And all this activity is nationally recognized. We have recently celebrated funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutions of Health, among other prestigious awards. We are experts in mental health, sustainability, early childhood education, policy and law, biophysics, biomechanics, international futures and peace, and so much more. As we move forward, we celebrate the contributions of all our faculty. From teaching faculty to clinical faculty and professors of the practice, they are vital to a robust teacher-scholar professoriate and to a world-class teaching and learning experience.

We already attract great faculty and graduate students, and with an R1 designation, we are even more prominently placed on the list of desirable and innovative universities. Our reputation will be strengthened, as will our recognition in the highly competitive landscape of higher education. Most important, an R1 designation will help increase access to the funding that supports our faculty and students’ research and in turn deepens our public good impact locally, nationally and in the world. 

And so, we take all that we have built over our history, the incredible work of our faculty, and we move into the upper echelon of research, but doing it in a way—which we’ve dubbed R1 Our Way—that preserves our DNA. Our faculty will continue to enjoy the teacher-scholar model, and our students will continue to deeply benefit from the world-class learning and mentorship that drew them to the University of Denver. As we grow, we are not reinventing; we are doubling down on who we are and what we value. We’re moving into an exciting future, always, our way.

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