Tackling the world’s grand challenges

Gregory Washington

If you want to be a successful research institution, you have to be big in the big things.

Great research universities tackle the grand-challenge problems of our time. We call it research of consequence for a reason—we face serious consequences as a planet if we cannot solve our most pressing global challenges, many of them outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Mason has a strong tradition of conducting research of consequence, from our pioneering work in cybersecurity decades ago to developing ways of testing for the coronavirus today.

We have grown our research portfolio significantly in recent years with funding expected to surpass $200 million for fiscal year 2020 as more entities seek out productive partnerships with the largest and most diverse public university in Virginia.

Focusing on the pressing issues of our time fulfills Mason’s commitment as a public research university working for the common good. At the same time, it fulfills our academic mission. While Mason faculty work toward discoveries, our students, often working side by side with our researchers, benefit from experiential learning opportunities that prepare them for impactful careers of their own.

We know that one of the most effective ways to solve problems is by educating and developing new problem solvers.

This issue of Momentum highlights Mason research from across our campuses, from vaccination development tools to climate change literacy to innovative teaching methods in the performing arts.