Recruit, Retain, and Recognize Top Researchers


Central to a robust and impactful research enterprise are exceptional humans. Attracting highly productive and innovative researchers enhances KU’s ability to conduct research that advances society. Retaining these gifted individuals requires KU to build a research support system that matches their ambitions to make discoveries that change the world and gain recognition for their work. Through financial and administrative support, KU will recruit, retain and recognize researchers working at the highest level, building a research enterprise that is impactful to the state, nation and beyond. 

The following metrics have been identified as key ways we can contribute to this overall objective. This data lets us reflect on our historical trajectory, while also setting targets for future performance. 


Endowed Professorships

Endowed professorships are one of the highest recognitions for scholars who have positively impacted their field of inquiry through exceptionally productive records of scholarship and teaching. Endowed professorships are made possible through the generosity of donors and help KU recruit, retain and recognize top researchers by publicly acknowledging and supporting continued excellence. As a metric, endowed professorships indicate the number of researchers working at the highest level.


Retention of Active Researchers

Highly productive, active KU researchers are often recruited by competitors. Used as a metric, KU’s ability to retain such researchers speaks to the effectiveness of its systems and structures designed to support and value research activity, such as acknowledgements (e.g., honors and awards), resources to facilitate ease of grant management and other services (e.g., IT support, data storage, libraries), and financial compensation.


Membership in National Academies

Membership in the National Academies is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors a scientist can receive. Importantly, membership recognizes distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Ability to achieve membership speaks, in part, to the resources and support the university provides to help advance KU researchers’ work. Used as a metric, membership in National Academies indicates the caliber of research occurring at KU, which in turn helps recruit and retain researchers.


Faculty Honors and Awards

Faculty honors and awards are indicators of leadership and excellence across diverse fields of inquiry. Used as a metric, total faculty honors and awards reflects a breadth of excellence in KU research and scholarship that helps recruit and retain top researchers. It also indicates a commitment by the university to provide support through sponsoring internal award programs and nominating faculty at various stages of their careers for external awards.

This data is only available to those with a KU online ID. 


NRC Prestigious+ Faculty Honors and Awards

The National Research Council maintains a list of faculty awards considered “prestigious” and “highly prestigious.” These awards are important components of institutional reputation. Used as a metric, these awards reflect excellence in KU research and scholarship that helps recruit and retain top researchers. It also indicates the university’s commitment to provide support through nominating faculty at various stages of their careers for appropriate external awards.

This data is only available to those with a KU online ID.