Carnegie Mellon University

Foundational Research and Creativity


Nurture and value foundational research and creative forms of academic expression.

To maintain and strengthen the rich intellectual environment that CMU has built over its history, the university must be an institution that not only maintains strength in problem-driven research, but also nurtures and values curiosity-driven research and creative forms of academic expression.

  • Because external support of trailblazing or controversial topics can be difficult or even impossible to obtain, CMU will establish seed funding programs to encourage nascent ideas and creative expressions, and to support other forms of early-stage research and creation.
  • To encourage faculty, students and staff to launch initiatives aimed at making progress on societal problems and advancing the human condition, the university will create ACTIVATE, a program modeled on IDeATe, which will create spaces, structures and resources for interdisciplinary research and teaching that lead to some form of social change and/or raise awareness on topics such as immigration, public health, sustainability, diversity, conflict, privacy and identity, and human rights, among others.
  • In recognition of the fact that Carnegie Mellon’s faculty engage in a broad range of creative work that does not fit within the traditional constraints of the promotion and tenure process, the university will reward and acknowledge creativity, entrepreneurship and other impactful activities by expanding the range of work eligible for consideration in promotion and tenure decisions.