Intentional Focus 2

Improve Lives and Society through Research, Creativity and Scholarship

Montana State University faculty, staff, and students are known nationally and internationally for discovering, applying, testing, and sharing knowledge and creative works that expand understanding and positively impact lives and society.

GOAL 2.1: Enhance the significance and impact of scholarship

Montana State University research and creative activity demonstrates impact on the state’s and the world’s pressing challenges through application of our discoveries in communities, industry, and organizations, as well as through academic indicators of the expansion of knowledge. 


1. Montana State University will foster four Grand Challenges of Montana responsive to regional and global needs:

· Caring for our environment: environmental science, design, engineering, architecture and social structure

· Promoting wellness in our communities: access and equity in education and health outcomes, community-based participatory research, biomedical sciences and entrepreneurship

· Food and fuel security: sustainable food systems, precision agriculture, energy production, transmission and storage

· Securing the future of Montana: cybersecurity, photonics and optics, defense, governance and public policyB

2. Montana State University will define outcome measures that reflect success in the Grand Challenge areas by 2024, and will monitor these for demonstrated research-related improvement.A

3. Montana State University will enhance education of undergraduates and graduate students through increased participation in research, creative, and entrepreneurial activities by 10% by 2025.A

GOAL 2.2: Expand interdisciplinary scholarship

Montana State University’s interdisciplinary expertise as the University of the Yellowstone™ carries unique possibilities for inference, translation, and impact. Our research and creative activity throughout the university increasingly spans traditional disciplinary boundaries to solve the world’s pressing challenges. 


1. Montana State University will secure at least one new interdisciplinary training grant or center grant for each Grand Challenge area by 2024.B

2. Montana State University will increase the grant expenditures associated with investigators in multiple academic units by 25% by 2022.B

3. Montana State University will increase the number of scholarly products that are authored or created by faculty from two or more academic units by 10% each year.B

4. Montana State University will review policies, resources and facilities that affect interdisciplinary scholarship and develop sustainable models for shared interdisciplinary resources by 2022.B

GOAL 2.3: Strengthen institutional reputation in scholarship

Montana State University’s success in scholarship results in increased state, national and international prominence.


1. Montana State University will annually increase scholarship standing when compared to peer institutions.

2. Montana State University faculty will be recognized as regional and national leaders in Grand Challenge areas by 2026.A

3. Montana State University will demonstrate improved institutional reputation through the increased size of faculty applicant pools, increased diversity of applicant pools and increased ratio of offers accepted to offers made.

4. Montana State University will increase the number of faculty with membership among national academies, professional society fellows and state/federal/international advisory committees.

5. Montana State University will increase the number of faculty who receive national and international awards, and honors.

6. Montana State University will establish a baseline by 2020 and increase its number of international projects and collaborations in learning, scholarship and engagement by 10% by 2026.A

GOAL 2.4: Elevate expectations for scholarship

Montana State University faculty, staff, and students hold themselves to the highest standards of research and creative outcomes.


1. Colleges, departments, and centers will set goals and document progress in their annual research reports by 2020.B

2. Montana State University will have annual contract and grant expenditures exceeding $200 million spanning all units by 2024.B

3. Publications, presentations of creative works, translational research and creative activity, and other evidence of dissemination of scholarship will meet or exceed peer benchmarks by 2026.A

4. Montana State University will increase the number of research faculty, research staff, post-docs and graduate students funded on external contracts and grants by 2022.B


A Amended 2023

B Completed