Kent State gains more research funding

Simon Hannig

Kent State’s federal funding has reached over $25.3 million, $3 million more than last year, for its research program.

Over the past 20 years, the federal government has invested $355 million in research at Kent State. Studies by the Milken Institute ranked Kent State fifth in the U.S. and Canada in the number of start-up companies formed and patents issued per $1 million in research expenditures.

Lori Burchard, director of Research and Sponsored Programs talks about federal funding and the process.

“In general faculty members  submit proposals to funding opportunities for a specific project. The proposals are reviewed and a number are chosen to receive the funding, Burchard said. “For many opportunities the review is conducted by a peer-review panel (group of colleagues in the same or similar field) and the funding is very competitive with a relatively small number being selected.  The specifics of the process vary so this description is a generalization of a typical process.

The money, however, can come from all sorts of places where general faculty members can apply for.

“Money can come from many sources including federal, state, and local government; private foundations; associations; business and industry. The largest share of our grants, typically around 75%, come from federal grant-making agencies, Burchard said. “The largest single source varies from year to year, but the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health are usually top agencies for our funding.

How much money is spent depends on the budget and on the proposal. Burchard said what it is included depends upon the needs of a specific project. The most common items is faculty time, postdoctoral researchers, graduate assistants and undergraduate assistants. Burchard also said it depends on the project, the items could include consultants, materials, equipment, travel and publication costs.

Douglas Delahanty is the Director Initiative for Clinical and Translational Research in Division of Sponsored Programs, said the goal is to double the amount of funding they are receiving.

“Faculty is constantly submitting proposals; we have also implemented a number of mentoring workshops to increase the number and quality of proposal submissions, Delahanty said. “Our goal is to double the amount of funding we receive on a yearly basis.  Besides bringing in more money this will increase our reputation and our ranking relative to other research universities.

Delahanty also said the funding FY is over $20 million-plus.

“There are many different funding agencies, as an institution, Kent has received all kinds of funding from different agencies/foundations in the past As of July our Total funding for FY 2014 2015 was $25,381,760. Dr. Delahanty said.

Over 10 years, a $25 million award from the National Science Foundation for a Science and Technology Center at Kent State (ALCOM) focused on advanced optical materials catalyzed nearly $60 million in additional basic and applied research funding. The ALCOM center led to the creation of 20 new companies and resulted in the creation of thousands of jobs in Ohio.

Simon Hannig is the graduate and research reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]