Jan. 21, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

We are delighted to announce that the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) have further formalized our strategic partnership, which unifies our research activities as a single enterprise. The research and development expenditures of the University of Maryland will appear as one figure in National Science Foundation (NSF) rankings beginning with their report for fiscal year 2019. The rankings are expected to be published in November 2020.

We first explored aligning research activities in Baltimore and College Park eight years ago, when we began building the framework for our landmark partnership, MPowering the State (MPower). We noted then that while our research portfolios were highly complementary, they contained very little direct overlap, which opened up exciting opportunities for approaching research problems together in new ways. Additionally, we knew that our students in Baltimore and College Park had much to gain from – and contribute to – collaborative research experiences, and so we launched programs like UM Scholars, which allows students to participate in important biomedical and social sciences research projects at UMB and UMCP.

The benefits of linking our research activities rapidly became clear. In FY 2012, before we formally established MPower, our universities had only one joint research proposal awarded. Since then, 600 joint proposals have yielded $204 million in research grants.

Four years later, when the General Assembly passed the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership Act, codifying our relationship in law, we linked our two research offices more formally, aligning not only our research projects but also our infrastructure and leadership. We decided it would make sense to appoint a single leader with responsibility for our research collaboration and strategic direction to enable our investigators to work more easily together thus providing the opportunity for exciting new areas of impactful research.

 In 2018, Laurie E. Locascio, PhD, was appointed by UMB and UMCP to lead our joint research enterprise as vice president for research, expanding the role she has held at UMCP since 2017. Dr. Locascio, a biomedical engineer, previously acted as principal deputy director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, overseeing all of its scientific and mission-focused laboratories. Reporting to both presidents, she manages the combined research enterprise in Baltimore and College Park.

In fiscal year 2019, our faculty and staff members were awarded $1.2 billion in research grants and contracts. We believe the NSF’s recognition of our collaborative research enterprise will place the University of Maryland among the nation’s most productive, pre-eminent universities. We look forward to continuing to build our transformative research enterprise. 

Sincerely, 

Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS
Interim President, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Wallace D. Loh, PhD, JD
President, University of Maryland, College Park