A program that promotes innovative research from scientists throughout the state will receive a record $9 million in funding for the next three years from the National Science Foundation.
The NSF-Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) office recently notified Thomas Taylor, project director of the Kansas NSF-EPSCoR program, that the Kansas program would receive the federal funding, which represents the largest single award it has ever received.
Only three state proposals were funded this year; NSF reviewers gave the Kansas proposal the highest score out of the six proposals that were submitted. About 55 people at Kansas universities will be involved in the program's projects.
Kansas researchers will gather Tuesday in Lawrence for a statewide conference.
"These funds will enable scientists at the lead institutions (Kansas State University, KU and Wichita State University) as well as collaborators at many of the state's regional universities to pursue research in bioinformatics, lipidomics, and at the interface of biology and genomics," Taylor said.
The overall topic of the Kansas proposal, living systems, will enhance statewide collaborations. The long-term vision presented in the proposal is to build a new life sciences infrastructure, both in human resources and instrumentation.
The funding will help support:
- the purchase of high-tech instrumentation
- "First Awards" to assist new faculty in building their research programs
- planning awards for established faculty
- "start-up" funds to purchase laboratory equipment for newly hired faculty
Additionally, 11 graduate research assistants and 12 postdoctoral fellows will be supported through the NSF funds. Special emphasis will be placed on developing educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for women and other underrepresented groups.
Funds also will be allocated to new initiatives, such as the Haskell Indian Nations University Student Research Experiences for Native American Undergraduates and community college student research experiences.