Skip to main content

Academic and Research Excellence Update
May 8, 2023

Dear Purdue faculty colleagues,

In our continual pursuit of academic and research excellence at Purdue, we are providing information about new ways that Purdue is supporting our faculty as well as updates on programs announced earlier this year.

A. New Initiatives to Support Faculty

1. Next Generation Electronic Research Administration System. In April the Purdue Board of Trustees approved a $9.9 million investment for an innovative electronic research administration system that will serve all Purdue campuses and affiliated organizations. PERA (Purdue Excellence in Research Administration), Purdue’s brand for the Huron Research Suite, is a next generation system that automates most processes involved with applying for research grants, managing research funding, and performing regulatory, ethics, training and compliance practices. President Mung Chiang added, “PERA will take us to the next level of sophistication and efficiency in research administration by streamlining and integrating how we operate. PERA will also save researchers time on administrative matters, allowing them to focus more attention on their work.”

A two-year phased rollout of PERA will begin this summer. The Office of Research is seeking members of the research community to join a PERA User Group. This group will help optimize the introduction of PERA by testing and providing feedback on various components. Faculty and research staff interested in joining the PERA User Group should contact Jessica Lawrence, PERA Project Director (

2. Enable tenured and tenure-track faculty to apply for a new enhanced research focused appointment that can earn increased total compensation from external awards. We are pleased to announce a new pilot initiative to recognize the exceptional research focused efforts, duties and activities of our tenured and tenure-track faculty that advance the Purdue research enterprise. Those who qualify may be eligible for a new concurrent faculty appointment allowing for up to 0.75 FTE to be established at a salary up to 25% higher than their current institutional base salary.

Under the pilot program, eligible tenured and tenure-track faculty may apply for this new concurrent appointment if they are dedicating 0.25 FTE or greater to externally funded grants and contracts and have qualified external funding sources in place with the resources sufficient to cover both the dedicated effort and enhanced salary.

Eligible faculty members can submit applications each fiscal or academic year (depending on appointment type). Applications for the pilot year must be submitted by May 31, 2023. The details along with the application process can be found here.

3. Discretionary funding for authors of major review papers, monographs and books. High-profile journal review papers, books and monographs can raise the visibility of a faculty member’s work and the reputation of the university. The Office of Research, in partnership with colleges, is managing a competitive grant program for Purdue faculty members who are submitting major review articles, developing monographs, or writing books likely to make an impact in their fields. Applications for funding up to $10,000 ($5,000 from your college and $5,000 from the Office of Research) to support these efforts are due on Sept. 15, 2023. Additional funding for books may be available. Full application details will be available soon on the Office of Research website and from assistant deans of research (ADRs) in each college.

4. Increased Support for Purdue University Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund. The Office of Research and Purdue Libraries and the School of Information Studies are enhancing funds that support open access publishing at Purdue. This support is available to any Purdue West Lafayette faculty member, researcher, post-doc, staff member, or graduate student facing article processing charges. It also joins a growing list of open access publishing opportunities negotiated by Purdue Libraries. By increasing the fund, we seek to support even more Purdue researchers and to increase discovery, visibility and access to their research. Details on open access publishing and how to apply for support are online at Purdue University Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund.

B. Updates on Initiatives Announced Earlier This Year

1. Increased Sponsored Program Services (SPS) staffing by 25%. The purpose of this investment is to improve faculty services and response times. Since this was announced in January, SPS leadership has made significant progress towards staffing the 22 newly created positions. To date, 16 positions (73%) have been filled. These include three in pre-award support, seven in post-award support, four in data and support, one in contracting and one in SPS administration. Active searches are underway for the remaining positions.

2. Faculty Recognition Office. Our new Faculty Recognition Office has its first key leader in place. In addition to searches for an executive director and a five-person support team, we have recruited an assistant director who will provide leadership and administrative support to nominate faculty colleagues for significant external awards and recognition across all career stages. Deans and department heads will work closely with this office to ensure that outstanding Purdue faculty are able to compete effectively for prestigious national and international awards that reflect their scholarly excellence.

3. Trial credit card program for externally funded research project purchases. To help streamline procurement of research-related goods and services, this credit card pilot program started in late March with 29 faculty from six colleges participating. During the first full monthly cycle, which ended on April 20th, six faculty members were actively using the credit cards. First month results confirmed that monthly and single transaction card limits are sufficient, eliminating requests for card increases. This pilot continues throughout Q2 and, if successful, the credit card program should become available to additional faculty during fiscal year 2024.

4. Salary supplements and other support for faculty pursuing large, competitive national center grants. Earlier this spring, we announced SPARK (Supporting Partnering for Advanced Research teamworK) to support interdisciplinary teams pursuing large center research grants. SPARK provides up to $100,000 for critical development activities linked to external grant proposals of $7 million or more. The initial competition for SPARK awards closed on April 14 and funding decisions are expected by May 15. For teams interested in future SPARK opportunities, there will be an announcement about the next round in late summer or early fall.

5. $50,000 in discretionary funds for PIs with new awards of $5 million or more. Our new recognition program awarding $50,000 in discretionary funds to PIs of new, multi-year research awards continues to gain momentum. Since the start of 2023, funds have been awarded to four PIs: Jen-Yi Huang in food science, $10 million (National Institute of Food & Agriculture); Songlin Fei in forestry and natural resources, $10 million (National Institute of Food & Agriculture); Anand Raghunathan in electrical and computer engineering, $5.5 million (DARPA/DSO, SRC, Georgia Tech); and, most recently, Pavlos Vlachos in mechanical engineering, $6.2 million (Eli Lilly and Company).

To qualify, awards must total at least $5 million for direct support of expenditures at Purdue and have a start date on or after Jan. 1, 2023. Details about allowed expenditures and how discretionary funds may be used are on the Office of Research webpage.

6. Purdue Faculty Concierge. The Purdue Faculty Concierge program assists West Lafayette faculty with issues, questions, or concerns they may be experiencing. A service of Purdue’s Office of Research, the Research Faculty Concierge program started in March 2023 and has already received several inquiries as faculty learn about the program and the types of assistance that it provides.

Early feedback from faculty has been positive. For example, one faculty member who recently used the service wrote, “The new Faculty Concierge service has truly exceeded all my expectations in solving the impediments that we faced.” Faculty are encouraged to learn more about the program here.

7. Purdue NIH Incentive Programs. The spring deadlines for the relaunched NIH New R01/U01 Program and NIH Competing Renewal R01 Program have now passed, and applications are now under review. For faculty who are planning new or competing renewal NIH R01/U01 applications, we recommend preparing applications for the next deadlines in September. Applications to the Selected NIH Training Grant Program continue to be welcomed on a rolling basis.

8. Purdue Research Bridge Program. Applications continue to be accepted for this program, which helps cover short-term funding gaps by maintaining research programs at “essential” minimum levels. The goal is to increase the likelihood of external funding renewal. It requires a 1:1 match, and faculty must be actively pursuing external funding. Details can be found here.

With best wishes on behalf of the Purdue leadership team,

Karen Plaut, Executive Vice President for Research
Chris Ruhl, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Patrick Wolfe, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

© 2024 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Research

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Office of Research at