Science & Research

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

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NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) 2010-2015

22nd
April

Bionanotechnology for Public Security and Environmental Safety

EPSCoR, NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) 2010-2015, Research Infrastructure Improvement

In August of 2010, West Virginia ‘s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) received a five-year, $20 million Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant from the National Science Foundation.

This grant, NSF-1003907, is the strategic framework to position West Virginia to achieve measurable growth in bionanotechnology.

The vision of the RII is to establish a nationally recognized and sustainable Center in Bionanotechnology that integrates research and education and advances knowledge through innovative collaborations while energizing the state’s economy.

The specific goal is to provide necessary infrastructure focused on bionanotechnology for enhanced public security and environmental safety. The interdisciplinary research effort is led by West Virginia University, Marshall University, and West Virginia State University. Researchers at these institutions will bring together bionanotechnology and molecular sciences to create hand-held devices — essentially laboratories on a chip — to remotely identify potential environmental threats, pollutants and even diseases. Innovations in this area have the potential to create new marketable technologies and devices — and the jobs to manufacture them.

Also engaged in research and workforce development activities for this RII are the state’s predominantly undergraduate institutions (PUI) and community and technical colleges (CTC).

 

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13th
March

West Virginia State University launches high-performance computing system; improves research capacity

EPSCoR, News about science and research, NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) 2010-2015

The speed limit on the information superhighway at West Virginia State University has just been increased.

Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation’s EPSCOR program channeled through the Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research, the WVSU campus is now home to a high-performance computing (HPC) system with enough processing speed to equal 120 standard desktop computers. The HPC system, at the newly established Computational Science Center, will officially launch with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Drain-Jordan Library at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.

“This system will increase the speed performance at which our research faculty, students and staff can process data,” says Dr. Jose Ulises Toledo, Associate Dean of WVSU’s Gus R. Douglass Land-Grant Institute. “What could take two or three days to process with standard processors, this system can handle in a matter of minutes.”

Nicknamed after the WVSU mascot, Stinger will allow students, faculty and researchers to compete more favorably with other institutions in their chosen fields and, administrators hope, attract additional faculty and students into the academic areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

“Stinger takes researchers at West Virginia State a giant step forward,” says Toledo. “With this system in place, our research faculty and students will greatly enhance their research capabilities.”

The University’s Internet bandwidth has been increased to meet the demand resulting from the new system. The HPC is located in the University’s Drain-Jordan Library and features a visualization tile display (viz-wall) of four 52” high-resolution monitors, as well as classroom seating and conference space.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is a precursor to the Higher Education Policy Commission Division of Science & Research’s upcoming STaR & West Virginia Academy of Science Symposium to be held on the WVSU campus April 20-21. The fourth biennial symposium will feature successful WV researchers who have transformed ideas from the brain to the lab to production to market. Stinger will also be a feature of WVSU’s own research symposium to be held in August.

For more information about Stinger and its applications, contact Dr. Jose Ulises Toledo at (304) 204-4304 or Bob Huston, Director of Information Technology Services, at (304) 766-3261.

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26th
January

Officials recognize more than $300,000 in state-funded research grants

EPSCoR, NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) 2010-2015, Press Releases, Research Trust Fund

January 26, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) today recognized faculty members at institutions across West Virginia who were awarded more than $300,000 in scientific research grants over the past year. The ceremony was held at the State Culture Center, in conjunction with Undergraduate Research Day at the State Capitol.

Secretary of Education and the Arts Kay Goodwin, the Commission’s Interim Chancellor Paul Hill, and the Division of Science and Research’s Director of Research Programs Jan Taylor presented awards from West Virginia’s Research Challenge Fund and Research Trust Fund, commonly known as “Bucks for Brains.” Also speaking at the event were Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp and West Virginia University President James P. Clements.

“Our institutions of higher education continue to develop scientific studies and research that benefit the nation with new knowledge while providing educational and economic development opportunities to our citizens,” said Secretary Goodwin. “I strongly support these institutions in their efforts to make West Virginia and the nation a better place in which to live.”  

Today’s recognition included the third round of awards which were made possible by interest earned on the Research Trust Fund; Instrumentation Grants funded by scientific equipment for advanced undergraduate laboratories; Innovation Grants for creative improvements in scientific equipment and facilities, curriculum, classroom instruction, or delivery; and Mini Grants for faculty to prepare research proposals.

“These awards and the opportunities they provide are made possible by the forward-thinking leadership of our Governor and the Legislature,” Hill said. “Supporting an innovative climate at our institutions is the best way to grow research competitiveness and create new opportunities across the state.”

Undergraduate Research Day is an annual event held at the State Capitol to showcase research projects conducted by students from across the state. Sponsors include the Commission’s Division of Science and Research, the Council on Undergraduate Research, the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE). The Division of Science and Research administers state- and federal-level scientific research grants in West Virginia. For more information, visit www.wvresearch.org.

Awards

Research Incubator Grant: This award is for research at a primarily undergraduate institution or a community and technical college.

  • $50,000 to Yi ‘Charlie’ Chen, Alderson-Broaddus College, for his project, “Nanochemoprevention as a novel approach for cancer control.”

2012 Innovation Grants: These awards are used for creative improvements to scientific equipment and facilities, curriculum, classroom instruction or delivery.

  • $30,294 to Kourosh Sedghisigarchi, WVU Institute of Technology, for his project, “SMART GRID Education Package (Course and Laboratory) Development at WVU Institute of Technology.”
  • $40,000 to Edward Wovcho for his project, “Enhancing the Chemistry Program at West Virginia Wesleyan College with Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry.”

2012 Instrumentation Grants:  These awards fund scientific equipment for advanced undergraduate laboratories.

  • $15,911 to Kim Bjorgo-Thorne of West Virginia Wesleyan College for “Student Achievement through Scientific Data Collection via Integration of Remote Data Collection Technology across the Curriculum.”
  • $20,000 to Timothy Corrigan of Concord University for “Atomic Force Microscope for Undergraduate Teaching and Research.”
  • $18,234 to Dan DiLella of Shepherd University for “Upgrade of HPLC and Electrochemical Capabilities.”
  • $8,658 to Gary Morris of Glenville State College for “Improving Undergraduate Biochemistry Education with a NanoDrop Spectrophotometer.”
  • $19,755 to Carol Plautz of Shepherd University for “Request for a Multimode Microplate Reader.”

Mini Grants ($5,000 each): These awards aid faculty members in the preparation of research or research equipment proposals for submission to external agencies or foundations.

  • Gary E. Schultz, Jr., Marshall University
  • K. Subramani, West Virginia University
  • Sarah Umphress, West Virginia University Institute of Technology
  • Bin Wang, Marshall University

Research Trust Fund Awards

  • $100,000 to West Virginia State University for acquisition of a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. This award is distributed as a result of interest earned on the Research Trust Fund, or “Bucks for Brains.”

 

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11th
January

Scientist Spotlight: Dr. Cerasela Zoica Dinu

Discoveries, featured, Nanotechnology, NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) 2010-2015, Scientist Spotlight, The Neuron – West Virginia Journal of Science and Research

Dr. Cerasela Zoica Dinu is making a difference in education and research in West Virginia.

 She is assistant professor of chemical engineering in the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University. 

 As a teacher, Dr. Dinu was named innovative engineering educator in 2011 by the National Academy of Engineering. As a researcher, she was honored by her College as Researcher of the Year.

 Among her research topics, Dr. Dinu is leading a study to develop an environmentally friendly coating that could prevent the growth of germs on common surfaces like countertops and walls. If successful, such a coating imbedded in paint could ultimately prevent infections, diseases and death and save society countless dollars on medical care.

 Joining WVU in 2009, the Romanian native enjoys the people of West Virginia. “People are different; the same for students. I find them open, I find them actively engaged. They want to do research with me from their freshman year.”

 Read more about Dr. Dinu and her research in the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of the Neuron.

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4th
November

Grants to Institutions for Student Programs

EPSCoR, Grant Forms, grant opportunities, NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) 2010-2015

Governor’s School for Math and Science Grants

These grants provide funding to support residential summer programs for middle school students to explore scientific research. The program is jointly supported by the Division of Science and Research and the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts

Eligibility:  All four-year institutions of higher education and non-profit educational organizations in West Virginia are eligible. 

 

 


 

 

STEM Fellows Program

This grant program helps recruit and support outstanding graduate students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Block grants are awarded to institutions for the purpose of providing fellowships to graduate students. 

Eligibility:  Full-time faculty, deans and academic administrators at West Virginia University and Marshall University are eligible. 

The most recent STEM Fellows program announcement and request for proposals can be downloaded here.

 

 


 

 

SURE Program

These grants help colleges and universities provide Summer/Semester Research Experiences to undergraduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Block grants are awarded for the purpose of providing small research stipends to undergraduate students. 

Eligibility:  Full-time faculty, deans and academic administrators at all four-year institutions of higher education in West Virginia are eligible. 

The most recent SURE program announcement and request for proposals can be downloaded here.

 

 


 

Underrepresented Research Scholars Program

This program supports the meaningful involvement of outstanding underrepresented students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) research at the undergraduate level. Women, underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities (Hispanic/Latino; American Indian or Alaskan Native; Black or African American, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander), people with disabilities and first-generation/low socioeconomic status students may participate.  

Eligibility:  Tenure-track or research faculty at all four-year institutions of higher education in West Virginia are eligible. 

The most recent Underrepresented Research Scholars program announcement and request for proposals can be downloaded here.

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4th
November

Grants to Institutions for Research Infrastructure

EPSCoR, grant opportunities, NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) 2006-2009, NSF Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) 2010-2015, Research Infrastructure Improvement, Research Trust Fund

Eminent Scholars Recruitment and Enhancement Program

This program built research infrastructure at West Virginia University and Marshall University primarily funding salaries and startup packages for nationally competitive researchers in targeted specialties. The program allowed the universities to hire 11 scholars with demonstrated research competitiveness, supported research infrastructure and provided graduate fellowships.

 

 

 


 

West Virginia Research Trust Fund

This program allowed West Virginia University and Marshall University to double private gifts that support expansions to research faculty and infrastructure in key areas linked to economic development, health care and job growth. This “Bucks for Brains” fund supports research in energy, biotechnology, biomedical, identification technology, material science and engineering and environmental science. Private gifts were matched dollar-for-dollar.

Eligibility:  West Virginia University and Marshall University were eligible. The state’s other public four-year institutions of higher education, as well as the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, were eligible to apply—by responding to specific requests for proposals—for matching grants supported by the interest earned on the trust fund.

For more information about the West Virginia Research Trust Fund, click here.

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3rd
November