Research Center Guidelines

Establishing a Research Center

The purpose of creating a Penn State research Center is to coalesce research expertise around an area with potential for novel discovery and application, including those involving long-term partnerships among researchers, industry, government, or other constituents. Research centers may also have education and outreach in their mission, but not solely as their mission. Ultimately, the Centers should extend beyond a group of individuals and instead be established to go after a capability or position that is larger than any of them could have achieved individually.

Center researchers will conduct cutting-edge research on topics that are of interest to multiple faculty members and potential external sponsors. The Center should build on Penn State strengths, and in turn, build our research capacity through inter-disciplinary collaborations, integrated research thrusts, and expanded infrastructure and shared facilities. The Center should aim to demonstrate increased research impact and involve extended research relationships as compared to individual faculty projects. Long term sustainability of the Center, beyond three years, is a key expectation in justifying its creation.

The relevant university policy on establishing research Centers is RAG05 Establishing Research Institutes, Consortia, and Centers.   

Relevant Documents: 

Research Center Proposal Guidelines and Proposal Template

Research Center Budget Template

Approval Process

Step 1 – Download the center proposal and budget template on this page.

Step 2 – Associate Dean of Research (College or Campus) or Institute Director forwards the completed center proposal and budget to AVPR for Strategic Initiatives (SI).

Step 3 – AVPR-SI conducts the initial review and forwards the proposal and budget sheet to SVPR and Institute Directors.

Step 4 – SVPR conducts the final review and forwards the proposal and budget to the Provost office.