Pillar 3

Improve the World through Research and Discovery

Building upon RIT’s existing signature strengths, we will develop a uniquely focused interdisciplinary research portfolio and create the spaces necessary to bring it to life.

Current pillar totals:

$299M

of $400M pillar goal
$299M Raised
$101M Left

Current Initiatives

Promote interdisciplinary research centers
Expand fundamental research programs
Enhance applied and corporate research activities
Improve and expand research facilities

Promote interdisciplinary research centers
RIT is home to more than 50 interdisciplinary research centers, institutes, and organizations that bring together faculty and students from across the university. These entities explore a wide range of topics and cover everything from business and entrepreneurship to biomedical sciences, nanolithography, printing, social computing, remanufacturing, microsystems fabrication, environmental sustainability, and visual perception.

Promote interdisciplinary research centers

By funding the leading edge of discovery, you are helping us translate research into the practical applications that not only improve lives, but drive talent development and economic growth. Investment in this area will fund various centers including:
  • The Future Photon Initiative, which aims to harness light through photonics to power today’s electronic devices.
  • Personalized health care technology that will advance mobile and wearable technologies that integrate new media design and that use data, behavioral, and social sciences to administer care specific to individuals.
  • Sociotechnical approaches to cybersecurity, which will discover vulnerabilities and explore defense mechanisms by modeling the human behaviors of legitimate and adversarial stakeholders.
  • Remote sensing with unmanned aerial vehicles to capture and process multimodal image data for business applications, collision avoidance, and anti-drone technology.
  • The Computational Relativity and Gravitation Initiative, which uses simulations on massive supercomputers to advance the discovery and knowledge of astrophysical phenomena, like the merger of black holes, neutron stars, and supernova explosions.
"RIT is home to more than 50 interdisciplinary research centers, institutes, and organizations that bring together faculty and students from across the university. These entities explore a wide range of topics and cover everything from business and entrepreneurship to biomedical sciences, nanolithography, printing, social computing, remanufacturing, microsystems fabrication, environmental sustainability, and visual perception."


Expand fundamental research programs
Research is my thing. I like the problem-solving aspect. You’re engaged, you’re involved, and you learn things that you never set out to learn.

Taylor Wolf ’18, biochemistry, College of Science

Expand fundamental research programs

As a student-centered research university, RIT combines the mission-critical activities of research, scholarship, artistic creation, creative inquiry, teaching, and learning across all degree levels and disciplines. By conducting government-funded, interdisciplinary, high-impact research and by partnering with business and industry in private research and development, we advance the boundaries of knowledge and the application of new technologies. Recognizing that participation on research teams enhances critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and cross-disciplinary competencies, we will facilitate the participation of undergraduate, master’s degree and doctoral students on funded, faculty-led research teams. Students bring enthusiasm to research teams often asking insightful questions that can change the ways faculty approach research inquiries; student researchers also contribute to the world of knowledge to each project helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems while doing good at the same time.
"Research is my thing. I like the problem-solving aspect. You’re engaged, you’re involved, and you learn things that you never set out to learn."

Taylor Wolf ’18, biochemistry, College of Science


Enhance applied and corporate research activities
RIT is a fantastic case study of using machine translation and speech recognition to make classrooms inclusive. They customize it by teaching these systems the specific subjects. Think about what it can do for an inclusive classroom.

Sataya Nadella CEO, Microsoft

Enhance applied and corporate research activities

RIT is a different kind of university partner. Created by a group of corporate-based founders, the university continues to work closely with corporations, technology businesses, start-ups in industries of all types. We work together with companies to drive company success and economic development. Through research collaborations, cooperative education and recruitment, innovative business solutions, workforce and executive training, and effective strategic partnerships, RIT offers our partners the resources to be successful.

When partnering with RIT, we enable access to experts who provide real solutions to real challenges. Whether the project involves new technology, intellectual property licensing, applied research and problem solving, or consultation with an expert in the field, RIT faculty and administrators are the connection to knowledge needed to succeed.
"RIT is a fantastic case study of using machine translation and speech recognition to make classrooms inclusive. They customize it by teaching these systems the specific subjects. Think about what it can do for an inclusive classroom."

Sataya Nadella CEO, Microsoft


Improve and expand research facilities

Improve and expand research facilities

RIT is unique and situated to make critical contributions to the state, the region, the nation, and beyond. Because our research builds upon existing signature strengths, with additional facilities to support our efforts, we can do even more. We are developing a uniquely focused interdisciplinary research portfolio while simultaneously extending the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning and integrating students at all degree levels into the research enterprise. Our move to Research University was intentional and gradual but one that will be truly transformational will require significant investment in research facilities and equipment. Your support of facility improvement and expansion, including a new engineering and science research building, will enable us to expand our research portfolio and extend our industry and government outreach initiatives.