Wednesday March 8, 2017

STEM Catalyst Grants

The University of Dayton launched a new initiative to invest in and support faculty and student research across the sciences, engineering and mathematics at the University.

The STEM Catalyst grant program is intended to advance new and existing research programs that have the potential to rise to national prominence.

The competitive grant program will provide up to $500,000 to support research during summer 2017 and 2018. Application is open to all tenured, tenure track and non-tenure track faculty.

The grants are offered through a collaborative effort among the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute.

“This award is specifically focused on faculty and programs that have the potential and desire to achieve a national level of recognition,” said Doug Daniels, executive director of the University of Dayton SupraMolecular Applied Research and Technology Center, who will coordinate the fund’s review committee.

The program encourages research proposals that benefit humanity by addressing significant, unmet needs or that utilize collaborative teams to address challenges across multiple academic disciplines.

“We are encouraging research programs that can clearly articulate their societal impact to underscore the alignment of scientific research on campus with the University’s Catholic, Marianist mission,” Daniels said.

College Dean Jason Pierce said the program comes in response to recommendations from department chairpersons and faculty in the natural sciences division that emerged during the College’s strategic planning process. It also addresses a key goal of the College to create and incentivize opportunities for faculty research, and to secure the internal resources and support structures needed to promote faculty success.

“I appreciate the opportunity to partner with the School of Engineering and the Hanley Sustainability Institute in rolling out this new program that will help faculty with bold visions achieve a national level of research prominence,” Pierce said.

The program will also help foster and support sustainable, interdisciplinary research programs on campus that can successfully transition to external funding, said Eddy Rojas, School of Engineering dean.

“These grants reinforce our efforts to foster interdisciplinary research partnerships outside the School of Engineering,” Rojas said. “That’s how major breakthroughs happen.”

Applicants are asked to detail the significance of their award to a specific vision for future external grant or partnership opportunities.

The review committee anticipates funding several proposals of focused scope (less than $15,000) and moderate scope or collaboration (less than $75,000) in 2017. Up to several bold collaborations (less than $150,000) will be considered in the next application cycle.

The program will support summer STEM research in two application cycles. Applications for the first cycle are due April 11 and may request summer 2017 or 2018 funding. A second call for summer 2018 awards will be issued during the 2018 spring semester.

The grants focus on summer research because a significant amount of faculty and student research is done between the spring and fall academic semesters.

“These awards are broadly aimed and proposals are welcomed from across the STEM landscape, regardless of academic discipline or application area,” Daniels said.

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

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