Establishing Research Centers and Institutes

The establishment of research centers and the chartering of research institutes facilitates the strengthening of scholarly activity across the university.

Research Centers

A center is a research unit that typically has a single focus or mission and is usually located within a single school, although its faculty may draw at times on the expertise of faculty in other schools or disciplines to support their work. A center typically reports to the dean of that school.

  • The establishment and review of new research centers is a school-based process.

  • GW scholars that are interested in launching a new research center or modifying an existing research center should contact their school’s associate dean for research to begin the process.

Review Process for Approval of a Center Name

Some central coordination for the naming of research centers will provide important clarity so that both external and internal audiences can understand the research focus and strengths of each center and to avoid confusion by the presence of multiple centers that have (or can be perceived to have) overlapping foci. The university’s Research Leadership Council (RLC) will review proposed research center names and facilitate collaboration among research centers, as appropriate.

  • Once a proposed center has the support of their respective school(s), the proposed name and a brief (one paragraph) description of the center’s focus, proposed participants, and activities should be submitted to the RLC by emailing [email protected]. The submission must be accompanied by documentation of review and approval by the school(s) involved and confirmation that the school leadership is supportive of the “application”.

Research Institutes

An institute is a scholarly unit that is multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary in nature and involves faculty from two or more schools. Institutes are generally larger and more complex than centers: they bring a number of resources and disciplines together to achieve a set of common goals.

  • Applications for cross-disciplinary research institutes are reviewed by an institutional committee to ensure that university priorities are addressed (e.g., diversity, equity, inclusion, involvement of students and trainees, and public engagement).
  • Upon successful completion of the central review process, research institutes will secure an official university charter. Becoming a chartered institute reflects a university seal of approval and results in the inclusion in listings of research units. 
  • An institute’s charter may be approved for a duration of one to five years.

Forms for Chartering Research Institutes

Start a Research Institute Chartering Application

Submission Deadline

The Advisory Council for Research (ACR) is the committee responsible for reviewing and approving applications to charter or re-charter research institutes. The following deadlines correspond to scheduled ACR meetings. *Charter and re-charter materials must be submitted no later than 21 days prior to the next scheduled ACR meeting to be reviewed (deadlines and meeting dates may be adjusted to reflect GW holidays).

Application Deadline

Friday, March 22, 2024

Contact Us

Email [email protected] for more information about establishing institutes, reviewing center names, modifying or closing an existing research institute, or for assistance with the application on OVPR’s InfoReady portal.