Office of the Vice President for

Research and Economic Development

Integrate. Invest. Implement.

Auburn University has a strong reputation for integrating knowledge, answering complex questions, and providing practical solutions. Right now, at Auburn, great research ideas are poised to cure cancer, secure and defend our cyber networks, and meet our food and energy needs sustainably and responsibly. These ideas and the expertise behind them will flourish with your philanthropic support, which will fuel our efforts to move us from the world we have to the world we desire.

Research at Auburn University turns great ideas into meaningful results. Along the way, discoveries advance scholarship and propel economic development.

The days of barriers between disciplines are fading in the face of complex challenges. Auburn Research acts as the catalyst in uniting the intellectual power and passion for discovery of highly skilled and experienced faculty with bright graduate and undergraduate students. And it broadens the intellectual and innovative capacity of every Auburn college and school by enhancing the university’s entire research enterprise.

This campaign creates new opportunities for you to partner with us by investing in the most promising ideas leading to discovery and innovation, the knowledge that fuels that discovery, and the breakthroughs that benefit all of society. You see those in emerging industries, in the lab, in your local grocery store, at the airport, and in many other places, both expected and surprising. They strengthen the business sector, boost our economies, and enhance our daily lives.

TOTAL GOAL FOR THE  office of the vice president for research and economic development:

$17.1 million

Why a Campaign?

Research at Auburn is producing increasingly effective results and is on the verge of breaking into the top tier of prestigious research universities. To advance, we must maintain cutting-edge facilities, support startup funding for innovative projects, and attract the brightest student and faculty minds. Your philanthropy provides the catalyst to capitalize on opportunities to be inventive and impactful.

Funds raised through this campaign will drive the spirit of discovery in all of Auburn’s schools and colleges. Gifts help teams of faculty securing grants to answer today’s most pressing questions in health sciences, energy and the environment, transportation, cyber networks, Gulf of Mexico research and restoration, as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.

What will be your return on investment? Ultimately, our vision for Auburn Research centers on a bold idea — to establish a culture of enlightened philanthropy that parallels our culture of innovation. Although federal funding is dwindling, that news hasn’t stopped Auburn researchers. New partnerships — with you and other donors — can and will advance

LAUNCH a Bold Vision for Auburn Research

How do great ideas become real solutions in the marketplace? Brilliance and hard work provide a good start, but inadequate funding can bring that hard work to a halt. For that reason, part of our vision for Auburn Research includes LAUNCH: The Fund for Research Innovation at Auburn University.

By achieving our goal of a $10 million endowment dedicated to catapulting brilliant ideas into the commercial arena, donors can positively impact our economy and society by helping us accelerate the best research and ideas that hold the greatest promise for local, regional, and global neighbors. And, like our efforts to train a new generation of scientists, gifts to this endowment will create a legacy through a perpetual revenue source reinvested in and expanding Auburn’s research capacity.

When fully funded, the LAUNCH endowment will pump into Auburn’s research enterprise approximately $400,000 annually. These funds will be available to faculty of all university disciplines through a competitive grant process, based on the following considerations:

  • projects with the greatest promise for success and economic impact will be encouraged;
  • proposals will be evaluated on attributes such as market potential and technology readiness;
  • funding will be linked to accountability and progress toward project milestones; and
  • technical, financial, and administrative mentoring will be provided to selected project teams.

Reward Outstanding Research and Innovation

Auburn faculty are securing our food supplies, strengthening the availability and security of domestic energy, increasing our global competitiveness, protecting our cyber networks, and improving our physical well-being by curing the most devastating diseases. Their success is found on the front pages of newspapers, as the lead features of the evening news, and among the celebrated accomplishments in academic publications. Their work is a credit to their mentors, our university, and you as donors who invest in Auburn Research.

To celebrate our faculty’s pioneering spirit, the Auburn University Research Advisory Board created the Advancement of Research and Scholarship Achievement Award. This award, once adequately supported through philanthropic gifts, will honor faculty for their high quality, competitive research and scholarly activity. Its impact will help move Auburn into the top tier of
academic research institutions.

By fulfilling our goal of $625,000 to endow this award, donors will help create a perpetual fund from which Auburn Research will grant an honorarium of $25,000 annually to support the research or scholarly activity of a faculty member whose vibrant research program:

  • distinguishes him or her both on campus and in his or her respective discipline;
  • advances Auburn’s research and scholarship mission; and
  • impacts to a significant level his or her respective field of study through extraordinary scholarship
    and/or notable research findings.

Your gift to the Auburn Research has



The Legacy of Dr. Franklin A. Clark

In January 1964, Franklin Clark penned a letter to then-Auburn President Ralph B. Draughon,  describing his thoughts on scientific investigation, writing: “My thinking of research coincides with the following definition from Webster’s Dictionary — ‘critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation having for its aim the revision of accepted conclusion in the light of newly discovered facts.’”

As a physician, former College of Veterinary Medicine faculty member, and former state and federal health official, Clark had unique insight into the aims of research and the role of land-grant institutions in facilitating discovery. His belief in research’s potential and promise for improving quality of life led him to establish the Franklin A. Clark Endowment for Research.

Over the years, Clark’s generous gift has funded research in disciplines across campus ranging from veterinary microbiology to pharmacy, physics to chemistry, and botany to audiology. In 2014, his endowment supported work moving vaccines to the marketplace. From its origins five decades ago, Clark’s philanthropy created a foundation of excellence for Auburn Research. His legacy continues to make meaningful contributions to science today and for decades to come.


The Charles D. McCrary Institute at Auburn University

Forty years after graduating from Auburn in mechanical engineering, Charles McCrary is known throughout the Southeast for his positive influence on energy efficiency, economic growth, and environmental conservation.

Throughout his career, McCrary demonstrated unwavering service to both the state of Alabama and Auburn University. As a tribute upon his retirement, the  Alabama Power Foundation made the largest single gift to research in Auburn’s history, creating a research institute in his honor.

Established in 2014, the Charles D. McCrary Institute at Auburn University will expand Auburn’s existing research capacity, focusing on securing our nation’s energy infrastructure and conserving our natural resources. Combining practical research and emerging innovation, the McCrary Institute will provide industry and government leaders with expertise to inform policy and shape industry standards in new and critical ways.

In establishing the Charles D. McCrary Institute, the Alabama Power Foundation puts Auburn at the forefront of interdisciplinary research, expanding existing expertise and securing the resources needed to solve today’s most complex challenges.

Because who we are tomorrow depends on


Give to Auburn Research

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