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Research Thrusts

In the competitive environment of research and development in the United States, creating an institutional research plan must be thoughtful, purposeful and deliberate. Now, more than ever, federal research budgets are under pressure and an increasing number of universities seek to be research-intensive.

At the University of Houston, we have engaged our community in the development of four institutional research thrusts to address a number of research challenges aimed at boosting economic development and improving the quality of life.

  • drug discovery
  • cyber-physical security
  • drug discovery
  • cyber-physical security
  • energy-security-and-transition


UH’s research thrusts were derived from the intersection of three streams.

  • Interest of the UH faculty and research leaders. This was obtained through discussions with deans, heads and leading research faculty. Account was also taken on immediate faculty hiring plans through engagement with the Senior Vice President and Provost.
  • Available and short-term attainable research infrastructure. This includes laboratories, computing capacity, shared facilities, and major equipment, as well as short term plan for the acquisition of additional research infrastructure, including the new Medical School.
  • Societal and global challenges, as documented in the national academies (NAE, NAE, NIH) reports, and other leading international academies and intellectual leadership. These were enriched with discussions on local regional and statewide challenges that affect society and have the potential to negatively impacting the quality of life of underserved sectors of our society.

The outcome thrusts are unique to UH, since the process of intersection above would lead to different results when applied in another university and community setting. The UH institutional research thrusts represent the aspirations of our broad community to serve and enhance our society, and to maximize the impact of our research in service of the least fortunate amongst us.

Implementation Framework

At our disposal in our mission to address the four societal challenges are the tools of Data and Sensing, Imaging, Automation, Advanced Materials and Advanced Manufacturing. Our implementation imperatives are Business, Law and Human Factors. No technical solution would succeed in addressing a societal challenge without these imperatives.