3.3 Research

Research is an important contributor to the content and vitality of university education and to the prosperity of the industries and the population of the state. It is, therefore, an indispensable function of Michigan Technological University to encourage, foster, and conduct research.

Research at the University

Research at (or in the name of) the University must meet some of the following criteria:

  1. Encourage scholarship and assist and improve education.
  2. Discover and disclose new knowledge.
  3. Promote the utilization of new discoveries for the public benefit.
  4. Aid, encourage, and support industry particularly within Michigan.
  5. Support the research objectives of State and Federal agencies or private sponsors.

The following requirements must also be met:

  1. Individuals involved in the research must execute the appropriate Patent, Research, and Other Proprietary Rights Agreement.
  2. The Sponsored Programs Office ensures that research proposals from, and contracts with, University units meet sponsors' and University requirements and guidelines; such proposals/contracts must receive approval from the Principal Investigator, department chair, and dean prior to Sponsored Programs Office obtaining authorization from the Vice President for Research (or in his/her absence, the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Secretary to the Board of Trustees, or the President) before release to any organization or agency external to the University.
  3. The Advancement Office ensures that proposals to foundations meet both foundation and university requirements. Such proposals must receive approval of the head of the University unit and from the Vice President for Advancement before release to any organization external to the University. Proposals requiring a University match or seeking funding for $10,000 or more must also be approved by the Vice President for Research prior to release from the University.
  4. Arrangements for satisfaction of contractual obligations set forth in contracts or legal agreements with outside agencies, if any, must be completed. These requirements are negotiated through the Sponsored Programs Office staff.
  5. The work must conform with policies relating to the conduct of research at Michigan Technological University. This includes (but is not limited to) policies relating to scientific misconduct, conflict of interest, laboratory operations, financial obligations, protection of animal and human subjects, and hazardous substance removal.

Sponsored Research

State and federal agencies, private foundations, and industry support a significant share of research undertaken at the University. Michigan Technological University, therefore, will accept such research projects consistent with the educational objectives and research goals of the University.

Students may work on industrial or proprietary research providing that such an arrangement does not violate the freedom of students to publish the results of their theses on a timely basis. If there is any possibility that limitations on a student's freedom to publish may exist, other than a modest delay for patent filings to protect proprietary rights, the project should not be used as a thesis topic and whether the project is appropriate work for academic faculty should be seriously questioned. A faculty member may waive the right to publish certain research results, but unpublished work, regardless of its quality, will not substitute for published research in assessing an individual's professional development, academic status, promotion, or tenure. Each individual faculty member is responsible for insuring that his/her research is suitable for consideration during promotion and tenure decision. Faculty members are therefore cautioned to carefully review departmental and college promotion and tenure guidelines before agreeing to any restraints on publication.

Individual Research Effort

The University supports research generated by the intellectual curiosity of its faculty, staff, and students and recognizes that individual research is commonly part of one's professional development. University facilities are available (outside of scheduled class and laboratory hours) for such activities, and their use for experiments and refinement of such research is encouraged. Opportunities for externally funded research differ from field to field, but it is the faculty or staff member's responsibility to insure that, whenever possible, individual research efforts lead to external funding.

The department chair or immediate supervisor must approve the use of laboratory facilities for personal investigations, as well as the use of equipment, materials, and supplies. The individual researcher may be subject to reasonable charges for these materials and supplies. (Senate Proposal 33-95)


07/23/2018 - To reflect current University titles, "Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs" is now "Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs."
06/03/2015 - To reflect current University titles, "Board of Trustees" is now "Board of Trustees".
04/01/2015 - Annual Review: To reflect current practice, the email address for questions is now policy@mtu.edu. No changes made to content.
02/13/2014 - Annual Review: Updated Michigan Tech and Handbook banners, no changes made to content.
07/18/2011 - Annual Review: To reflect current University titles and practice, MTU is now Michigan Tech and the email address for questions is now hbwebmaster.
10/21/2010 - To reflect current University titles and practice, vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school is now vice president for research, the executive vice president and provost is now vice president for academic affairs, research and graduate school is now sponsored programs office.