“Particularly from a research productivity perspective, some of our doctoral programs – in the fields of molecular plant sciences, biological systems engineering, materials science and communications, for instance – appear to fall within the top 10 to even five percent of all programs in the nation as early as 2005,” Floyd said. “But what really makes these NRC findings exciting news for our graduate programs and research here at WSU is the tremendous strides we know we have taken since that time.”
“Since the time the NRC data was collected we have improved significantly in annual outside research funding and grant awards, increasing grant awards by 42 percent over the past two years alone,” Grimes said. “We have tripled the number of Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) grants awarded to WSU and have doubled our training grant awards. We also have improved greatly in new doctoral student enrollment and graduate student enrollment as a whole.”
“The data in this report can help WSU recruit better quality graduate students and increase retention as students use the published data to find a program that will be a good match for them and their interests,” Grimes said. “But perhaps most importantly, it provides confirmation that the goals we have set for this university since the data was collected are moving us in the right direction.”
The National Research Council is part of the National Academies, a private, nonprofit institution that provides science, technology and health policy advice under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln granted in 1863. It is considered a definitive source of evaluative information about the quality of United States doctoral instruction. The recent NRC report, A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States, is available for download at http://www.nap.edu/rdp/.