UMaine Celebrates Research Success Day, Fostering Innovation and Collaboration

In a display of the University of Maine’s research prowess, Research Success Day, organized by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, took place on October 4, 2023. The event, hosted at the Wells Conference Center, featured an array of informational and cohort-style sessions alongside a vibrant networking event. As the day unfolded, it became clear that Research Success Day was more than a gathering of researchers, faculty, and staff– It was representative of UMaine Research’s transformative change and innovation for the future as an R1 institution.

The day commenced with an opening by Dr. Sandra De Urioste-Stone, Assistant Vice President for Research, setting the tone for an event dedicated to pursuing knowledge and research success. Following the introduction, President of the University, Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, opened a discussion that imparted valuable insights, emphasizing the cultivation of “good taste” in problems and the significance of connecting research questions to methods. Scott Delcourt, Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies and Senior Associate Dean, furthered the discussion by expressing the synergy between the Office of Research and Graduate School entities, outlining their pivotal roles in driving our research enterprise.

In a compelling address to the event attendees, Dr. Kody Varamyan, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, shed light on the impressive achievements of UMaine Research, revealing a staggering $189,717,393 in new R&D funding, which represents a growth of 108% relative to 2019. This remarkable achievement, alongside others, transitioned into a discussion of the six factors defining UMaine’s modern research initiative. His presentation featured information on the commitment to breaking down silos, embracing interdisciplinary research, high-impact experiential learning, significant research commercialization coupled with skilled workforce creation, core/shared research resources and facilities, and personalized educational paths.

University of Maine Logo. Office of Research text. UMaine Modern 21st Century Research University initiative title. From top to bottom, arrow icon, people icon, light bulb icon, people holding gears icon, three dots and lines icon, directional sign icon. Associated text can be found in the caption of the image.
1. Removal of Silos including between academic and research units through close alignment and integration of university research and academic programs.
2. Emphasizing Interdisciplinary research and teaching, addressing grand socioeconomic challenges.
3. High impact experiential learning programs through undergraduate research and other means.
4. Significant research commercialization coupled with skilled workforce creation leading to robust economic development consisting of new markets, new industries, new jobs.
5. Core/shared research resources and facilities that are widely accessible to the university and outside community.
6. Personalized educational paths meeting individual student needs and interests.
Presented by Dr. Kody Varahramyan, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Research Success Day 2023

The core of Research Success Day lay in its two tracks of presentations, where trainers from cross-campus research units shared insights and expertise within lively group discussions. Attendees delved into topics ranging from research development services to the lifecycle of an award to building successful research teams.

The event concluded with a meet and greet networking session, where representatives from key research entities, including the Office of Research Development, Office of Research Administration, and the Graduate School, were present. Notably, the 16 University-level research centers and institutes were showcased alongside other centers and labs on campus, cultivating an environment of lively discussion, collaboration, and partnerships.

As the event drew to a close, it became evident that Research Success Day not only celebrated past research achievements, but further represented UMaine Research as a thriving research organization. The event’s impact on UMaine Research’s entities, fostering innovation, collaboration, and the pursuit of research excellence, is measured by the continued growth in R&D expenditures, external awards granted, and impactful outcomes from our researchers. By fostering a culture of interdisciplinary research, experiential learning, and research commercialization, UMaine has solidified its stance as a nationally recognized R1 University.

Research Success Day at the University of Maine is more than a research event; it is a testament to the University’s commitment to pushing bounds and shaping the future through cutting-edge research. As the event closed on October 4, UMaine Research stood as a catalyst for academic achievement and a symbol of dedication to the pursuit of research excellence.


Written by Karalyn Kutzer