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Eastern Michigan University Obtains $20 Million in Grants

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Ypsilanti – Eastern Michigan University (EMU) has racked up more than $21 million in research funding during the past two years (2013 and 2014). While research funding has fallen nationally, EMU has seen steady growth in recent grant awards – great news for faculty and students.

In 2013, almost $11 million in research grant funding went to ten different colleges and programs within the university. The largest recipients were the College of Health & Human Services with 32% of funding for a total of $3.5 million; and, Institutes & Centers receiving 31.4% valued at about $3.4 million. The only other college to break the million dollar funding threshold was the College of Arts & Sciences with $1.6 million received in ’13 in grant funding.

Reportedly, funding sources were dominated by federal grants. The U.S. Department of Education awarded some 53% of total grants received by EMU. The Department of Defense was the second largest source providing about 15% of the University’s research funding. The Small Business Administration provided some 10% of grant funding, with another 3% coming from other sources. The average grant award was slightly under $100,000. However, grants are getting larger.

Recently a prestigious National Science Foundation grant was awarded to the University of Michigan system. Announced in October ’14, this funding includes $222,668 for research addressing national power grid security technology awarded to Dr. Samir Tout, a faculty member with the EMU College of Technology’s Information Security and Applied Computing Department.

Associate Provost and Vice President for Research and Investment, Jeffery Kentor, worries that the United States is falling behind the rest of the industrialized world as federal research funding continues to dry up. He points out that an active research program is essential to any University as it provides an ideal context for applying classroom learning into solving real world, professionally relevant problems. Other skills are sharpened, including writing, teamwork and literature research skills.

The University’s Office of Research and Development provides grants application and administration services, allowing faculty members and their students to focus on research activities. According to Crayn Charter, Director of EMU’s Office of Research and Development, the University submits about two hundred proposals yearly. The win rate runs a respectable 50 to 58%. Reportedly, the win rate was even better for 2014, but the final results won’t be known until this calendar year ends.

The University is also using Title III U.S. Department of Education grant funding to provide some $2 million in support of STEM programs on campus. The goal of this federal Title III funding is to promote more enrollment by students – especially those who are historically disadvantaged, or come from low income families – into the University’s sciences, mathematics and engineering degree programs.

EMU currently has 23,000 students enrolled, including almost 5,000 graduate students, across more than 200 degree programs. Some 57% of the University’s current enrollment is female. International student enrollment includes about 1,000 students from 85 countries.

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