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ORAU MSI Research Council

Minority Serving Institutions are institutions of higher education that serve minority populations. These institutions are as diverse as the populations they serve. Some are located in remote regions of the country, while others serve urban neighborhoods. Newer colleges and universities may be a few decades old, while others have been serving students for 100 years or longer.

All MSI institutions have one thing in common: a mission to provide their students with the social and educational skills needed to overcome racial discrimination and limited economic opportunities.

MSIs are sources of untapped talent, where highly educated, sought-after scientific minds are available for opportunities that will launch their science, technology, engineering or mathematics careers.

ORAU places a high priority on fostering relationships between MSIs and federal government agencies across the country, so that the best and brightest are part of advancing the nation’s science, education, workforce development and health priorities.

The MSI Research Council (MRC) is a subcommittee of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions and represents a core group of ORAU’s University Consortium. The purpose of the MRC is to establish a strategic plan for advancing the research and education capabilities of the MRC members and to develop a model framework for leading partnerships of excellence.

The MRC will:

  • Conduct a research readiness assessment.
  • Develop a research priority list.
  • Convene at least three times each calendar year.
  • Appoint project teams and leads for each research priority.
  • Identify collaborative funding opportunities.
  • Focus on early- and mid-career research faculty.
  • Increase member applications for ORAU funding opportunities including: ODRD, Innovation Partnerships Program, and Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Program.

  • Develop a differentiated research framework that maps institutional research capacity with national research priorities.
  • Better knowledge and awareness of ORAU member programs and ORAU S&T business lines.
  • Position papers on best practices in engaging MSIs in federally funded research.
  • Encourage community-based research opportunities, e.g., disparities in minority health.
  • Promote scientific, peer-reviewed publications under the MRC brand.
  • Generate extramural research funding thru collaborative efforts.
  • Increase Powe junior faculty awards to HBCU/HSI faculty.
  • Increase MSI policy advocacy at federal agencies.
  • Promote webinars and podcasts to showcase MRC initiatives and results.

Deliverables include:

  • Appoint new chair and co-chair
  • Schedule MRC convening dates
  • Research readiness data project
  • Publications and collaborative proposals
  • Develop research priority list
  • Organize project teams and identify team leads

Milestones include:

  • (mid) December – Announce new chair and co-chair
  • (mid) January – Host virtual meeting
  • (mid) January – Research readiness report
  • (mid) January – Assign project teams and team leads
  • (late) March – Quarterly report out for each project team

MSI Research Council Member Institutions

Below is a map of the MSI Research Council members and the designated ORAU Councilor.