• July 2, 2024

UTRGV joins IRIS consortium to highlight research in higher ed

UTRGV joins IRIS consortium to highlight research in higher ed

By Maria Gonzalez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS– UTRGV has joined the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS), a national consortium of leading higher educational institutions committed to demonstrating the public value of sponsored scientific research.

Membership in IRIS will provide UTRGV with new tools to guide policy decisions and showcase its research on workforce training, economic development, and career development for researchers. This development highlights UTRGV’s growing research impact and its role as a hub of innovation and discovery.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey emphasized the importance of membership in the consortium, as it helps advance the university’s research capabilities and mission.

“UTRGV has shown remarkable growth, breaking internal records in research and laying a solid foundation for achieving R1 and Emerging Research University status,”  he said. “Our research enterprise has nearly quadrupled to $84.44 million over the past eight years, positioning UTRGV as a hub of innovation and discovery. IRIS will provide us with critical data that supports policy decisions and shows the many ways in which UTRGV research benefits society and the economy.” 

Membership in IRIS grants UTRGV researchers access to a comprehensive dataset detailing the outcomes of funded research, including more than 450,000 sponsored projects, $99 billion in direct cost expenditures, and involvement from more than 720,000 people across nearly 140 campuses nationwide.

IRIS will also provide UTRGV with reports on research expenditures, vendors, and the employment and earnings outcomes of research-trained personnel.

The IRIS collaboration aligns with UTRGV’s ongoing expansion of its research capabilities and impact.

Dr. Can (John) Saygin,  UTRGV senior vice president for Research and dean of the Graduate College, said that in fiscal year 2023, UTRGV’s research expenditures increased to $42.2 million in restricted research, accounting for an annual increase of $15 million from the previous year.

“This substantial growth reflects our ongoing commitment to expanding our research portfolio,” he said. “Joining the IRIS consortium is part of our strategic planning and execution process. With access to IRIS’s datasets and analytics, we will be complementing our existing research analytics platforms with enhanced data sets.”

UTRGV joins several other public universities in Texas as members of IRIS, an initiative facilitated by the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC), which aims to demonstrate the collective impact of public universities in Texas.

IRIS Executive Director Jason Owen-Smith, professor of sociology at the University of Michigan, said the consortium is thrilled to welcome UTRGV as a member of the group.

“This partnership will help UTRGV demonstrate how their research impacts the economy and workforce of Texas, inform decisions about how to support faculty and students pursuing innovative work at the frontiers of science and engineering and contribute to national conversations about the public value of academic research and higher education.”

UTRGV will deliver its data to IRIS by October 2024, with the first comprehensive reports expected in the first quarter of 2025 (January to March).


The Institute for Research on Innovation and Science (IRIS) is a consortium of research universities, established in 2015 and based at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization. IRIS collects detailed transaction-level data from its member institutions on their sponsored research projects. These data are crucial for understanding scientific outcomes at multiple levels of analysis and are linked to federal employment and earnings data through the Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) system, administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. For researchers seeking to access these data, more information is available at https://iris.isr.umich.edu/research-data/access/.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *