FAU Shatters Research Funding Record for First Quarter of Fiscal Year

Research, Grants, First Quarter, Fiscal Year, Federal, State, Private Agencies, Research Funding, Research Performance, Division of Research, Research Awards

Federal, state and private agencies awarded FAU faculty $38.9 million for Q1 this year – that number was $20.2 million during this same timeframe last year.

By gisele galoustian | 12/8/2020

Florida Atlantic University recently achieved a major milestone in sponsored research funding for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020-2021, shattering all previous quarterly records. Despite numerous challenges that included the COVID-19 pandemic and a decrease in research funding, this upward trend reflects the untiring dedication of the university’s outstanding researchers. The first quarter, which began on July 1, saw a whopping 92 percent increase in research funding compared to the first three months of fiscal year 2019-2020. Federal, state and private agencies awarded FAU faculty $38.9 million for Q1 this year – that number was $20.2 million during this same timeframe last year.

“Securing research funding is no easy feat, especially during these exceptionally challenging times,” said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., FAU’s vice president for research. “This monumental milestone for Florida Atlantic University is a testament to our talented, dedicated and passionate researchers who are making great contributions in science, technology, health and the humanities at a pivotal time in Florida’s and our nation’s history.”

FAU tenure and tenure-track faculty, together with researchers and scientists at the university and other collaborators proposed innovative projects that successfully garnered funding from various agencies. Among the largest grants that fell within the first quarter of this fiscal year are:

  • An $11,179,001 four-year contract from the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop a next-generation, high-intake, compact, defined excitation bathyphotometer sensor for natural oceanic bioluminescence assessments. The contract also involves imaging, modeling, and significant fieldwork to better understand bioluminescence dynamics in the ocean. Bathyphotometer measurements of bioluminescence are used to study light emissions from populations of luminescent marine organisms including phytoplankton and zooplankton. (Michael Twardowski, Ph.D., principal investigator and a research professor at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute)
  • A five-year, $5.3 million R01 grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a project that will enable researchers to test and evaluate a readily and rapidly available, unobtrusive in-vehicle sensing system, which could provide the first step toward future widespread, low-cost early warnings of cognitive change for older drivers in the U.S. (Ruth Tappen, R.N., Ed.D., FAAN, principal investigator, a professor, and the Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar; and David Newman, Ph.D., co-principal investigator, an associate professor and a statistician, FAU’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.)
  • A five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to train graduate students in data science technologies and applications. Data science and analytics is an emerging transdisciplinary area encompassing computing, statistics and various application domains that include medicine, nursing, and industry and business applications among others. (Borko Furht, Ph.D., principal investigator, a professor in the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and director of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement (CAKE), FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.)
  • A $2.2 million grant as a result of a competitive application process in response to the Office of Ecosystem Projects Harmful Algal Bloom Innovative Technology Program from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Total Maximum Daily Loads Program. The project, “Harmful Algal Bloom Assessment of Lake Okeechobee” (HALO), will help combat Florida freshwater eutrophication, harmful algae proliferation, and ultimately protect human and ecosystem health. (Jordon Beckler, Ph.D., principal investigator and an assistant research professor at FAU’s Harbor Branch and a fellow of FAU’s Institute for Sensing and Embedded Networks Systems Engineering [I-SENSE])

FAU’s Division of Research supports FAU faculty conducting research, forging innovations and advancing science and technology in all disciplines. It assists in enhancing and growing the research enterprise at the university. Units within the division identify grant and funding opportunities, manage proposals and awards, protect intellectual property rights, and highlight research achievements and more. The division also promotes a number of entrepreneurial and economic development initiatives that give faculty, students and the community opportunities to launch start-ups, create jobs and fulfill their aspirations.