Vice President for Research and Innovation

The Division of Research and Innovation supports the generation and dissemination of knowledge by assisting faculty and students in their research, scholarly work and creative activities.

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Our Mission

The mission of the Division of Research and Innovation is to support, facilitate, and empower the growth of sustainable research at UNT. This mission is achieved by facilitating an interdisciplinary approach to research — a catalyst for discovery and innovation — that has cemented UNT's status as a Tier One research university. 

Message from VP Pamela Padilla

Dear Members of the UNT Community,

It is an honor to begin my service as the Vice President of Research and Innovation at the University of North Texas, and to work with the UNT community to advance our research mission. My goal is to provide support, facilitate, and empower researchers, while implementing creative solutions to grow the research enterprise across disciplines. President Smatresk has entrusted me with this great responsibility, and I will do my utmost to deserve his confidence and yours. I am grateful to Dr. Mark McLellan, who brought experienced leadership and personal warmth to the university, especially throughout the difficult Covid-19 pandemic. I learned a great deal from him, and wish him and his wife, Julie, all the best as they embark on their retirement plans. 

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    One of the deciding factors that solidified my acceptance of this position is the amazing people that work within the Division of Research and Innovation (DRI). The leadership team and staff are knowledgeable, diligent, collaborative, creative, insightful, and committed. It is truly an honor to work with and lead the DRI team for the UNT community. Dr. Aaron Roberts will continue to serve as Associate Vice President of Research, where he will lead research development activities and foster an environment for interdisciplinary research. 

    As we move toward the future to support innovative, paradigm shifting, and creative research at UNT, I look forward to building new collaborations and partnerships across campus.  Like many of you, my core fundamental values include a commitment to discovery through research and creativity, dedication to our diverse student body, and a belief that true success within institutions includes embracing concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Thus, I look forward to seeing the research that is conducted within UNT as a Tier One Research and Hispanic Serving Institution.  

    With the deep academic and cultural roots UNT has in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex, we are at an exciting moment to partner with corporations to further contribute to the economy and develop the workforce of tomorrow. I look forward to our work together and, with your help, continue our rise as a Tier One public research university. 



    Pamela Padilla

    Vice President of Research and Innovation

Strategic Plan & Roadmap 

Dr. Pamela Padilla, Vice President for Research and Innovation, is dedicated to growing UNT's research enterprise to cement its place among the nation’s top Tier One research universities.

With the appointment of Dr. Padilla, new initiatives and the development of an updated and comprehensive research strategic plan has set UNT on the trajectory to advance its goal of becoming a recognized National Research University. Our goal is to provide a supportive, efficient, and more effective research strategy that facilitates and enlarges UNT's research impact. Core to the research strategy is to create an environment that makes it easier for faculty to pursue research and help them achieve higher success in obtaining research funding.

We look forward to communicating the Roadmap to Research and 2021-2026 Research Strategic Plan. 

View UNT's Research Roadmap

Leadership Team