Research funding continues upward trajectory

College of Science faculty were awarded $18.7 million in research grants and awards this fiscal year, an increase of 54% from last year and the second highest year since FY2013. Our three-year moving average of awards continues on an upward trajectory.

In terms of the number of grants and contracts, the College was awarded nearly 3.7% more than last year.

Most of the College’s research funding for this past year was from federal agencies, with the National Science Foundation awarding 61% of the grants, the National Institutes of Health 4%, sub-awards contributing 8%, Department of Energy 7%, U.S. Department of Agriculture 2%, U.S. Army 2%, with the remaining 16% coming from other federal agencies, industry, nonprofits and foundations.

The total amount of grant funding includes awards to faculty who are currently supported by the prestigious NSF CAREER Awards—the NSF’s top award given to junior faculty members for outstanding research and the effective application of that research in university teaching and education—as well as faculty who were awarded highly competitive funds for various research projects, ranging from support for undergraduate mathematics research to the impact of climate change.

Below is the breakdown of research funding across departments for FY2017.

Congratulations to the following faculty who received grant funding of $1 million and above, an impressive feat given the competitive climate for federal funding.

  • Douglas Keszler (Chemistry) has received a two-year grant renewal of $3.1M from NSF’s Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences for the Center of Sustainable Materials Chemistry.
  • Bruce Menge and co-PIs Francis Chan and Jack Barth (Integrative Biology) received a $2M grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to support PISCO to increase the consortium’s global impact by training the next generation of interdisciplinary marine scientists and by continuing to build a database that is accessible to marine researchers worldwide.
  • Virginia Weis (Integrative Biology) has been awarded a $1.88M grant from NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences that was part of a collaborative, new $14M NSF program for enabling discovery through genomic tools. She was one of eight researchers nationwide selected for the program.

While many facultyreceived research grants this year, below are some notable awards.

  • Maria Franco (Biochemistry and Biophysics) received a $653K grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for her project, “Nitrated Proteins as a Target for Drug Development in Neurofibromatosis Type 2.”
  • May Nyman (Chemistry) received a four-year U.S. Department of Energy grant for $540K for her project “Counterions for controlled dissolution, precipitation, and stabilization of molecular clusters and extended lattices.”
  • Ethan Minot (Physics) received a three-year NSF grant for $400K for his project “Beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit: understanding and controlling carrier multiplication in carbon nanotube pn junctions.”
  • Jerri Bartholomew (Microbiology) was awarded $404K by the Oregon Department of Fish and wildlife for a Fish Health Graduate Research Fellowship in Microbiology.
  • Oskana Ostroverkhova (Physics) received a three-year, $410K    NSF award for her project “Naturally produced fungal compounds for sustainable (opto)electronics.”
  • Mary Beisiegel (Mathematics) received a two-year NSF grant for $296K for her project, EAGER: Exploring mathematics graduate training assistants” development stages for teaching math.
  • Matt Graham (Physics) and Paul Cheong (Chemistry) received a $274K grant from Apple, Inc. to collaborate on a project, “Electronic & Structural Characterization of Amorphous IGZO Materials.”

Looking ahead

The College is seeing strong early momentum this year with the following significant awards totaling more than $700K.

  •  Yuan Jiang (Statistics) has received a $194K grant for his project “Network-based statistical methods to decode interactions within microbes.”
  •  Wei Kong (Chemistry) was awarded a $354K NIH award for her project, “Serial single molecule electron diffraction imaging: atomic structures of biological macromolecules without crystals.
  •  Bruce Menge (Integrative Biology) received $175K, the first installment of a three-year NSF grant, for his project “Collaborative Research: Mechanisms of resistance and resilience to system-wide loss of a keystone predator in an iconic intertidal community.
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