What is the UNT Research Roadmap?

The UNT Research Roadmap is a planning document for the University of North Texas. This roadmap is built on the directions and focus of the faculty, discipline by discipline. In this document, it is recognized that the faculty departments own the future of research directions for this institution and it is the faculty that should set the goals and aspirations for the future of UNT research. Each faculty member represents the embodiment of a program here at UNT, and it is the combined efforts of these programs that represent the core future of the discipline. This approach calls upon the faculty to set the future directions of this institution as they describe the core competency and vision for their department and their discipline.

The Research Roadmap starts by asking each academic department, representatives of the disciplines within UNT, to answer 10 core questions. The responses to these questions will help others see the sense of vision, strength, opportunity, and challenges that the department foresees in its future as the foundation of this R1 research university. In some cases, we have academic departments that are constituted by a couple of core disciplines. In that case, we still ask for a department-wide vision using the multiple disciplines represented within the department.

One might ask why should we focus on the academic discipline? The reason is simple, that as an R1 Research University, we build our capacity based on the talent of our researchers hired by each academic program. Each discipline/department should be able to envision their combined strength as a core pillar of the R1 institution. It is this discipline-based research expertise that will be drawn upon to contribute to multidisciplinary, large-scale efforts– where broad talents are required to create powerful research teams to explore the issues at hand.

Resource Documents

The following documents are resources being used by the departments to launch this process.


  • Draft department reports are due to the VPRI office and deans by May 1st
  • Draft college overviews are due to the VPRI office by July 1st

Research Roadmap Diagram

Department FAQs

Why the focus on the disciplines in the request?

The research university is organized based on academic disciplines, embedded within colleges. Major investments and resources are typically accomplished through a focus on individual departments representing the disciplines. It is reasonable therefore to expect each discipline to have a sense of future regarding research in this institution.

Why a 10-page report?

Answering the 10 Questions should take less than 10 pages. In fact, many of us presume that these answers can be summarized in five pages or less. However, there may be some disciplines where an extended discussion is warranted due to the complexity within departments.

Why is this focused on just short of a 6-month process?

Although this type of introspection could easily be drawn out far longer in time, it was decided to achieve the primary discussions before summer break.

What if a department is searching for a new chair – how do we handle this?

If a department is in the process of searching for a chair, the dean for that unit can request a delay in running the process until the hire is well completed.

Can a department opt out of the process entirely?

The simple answer is “yes” a department can choose not to share a vision of research for the future of their discipline with a statement as such.

How will these reports be used?

These reports will be used as a sense of future research directions in the departments. They will be used as a guide to ensure the investments in research makes sense. The president will use these reports to get a real sense of where disciplines are in their research planning. He will use these reports to help sell the value of UNT as a research university deserving research investments from the state. The President and Provost will use these reports to gain insight about new and novel faculty positions needed to grow and expand the research programs. The VPRI Office will use these reports to seek out faculty and match them to opportunities for research support and collaboration. University Communications will use these reports to help identify unique stories to advance the reputation of the University.