Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 2019-2020 received 167 research grant awards totaling $60.8 million, the largest dollar value of research awards in its history.
“This record-breaking year in research funding is a direct result of the hard work of our faculty and our strategic vision for “Excellent and Renowned Faculty” and “High Impact Research.” Together these outcomes enhance the overall student experience, lead to the resolution of complex societal issues and enhance the quality of life for all,” said President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., who was among the researchers receiving grant funding.
In September 2019, Robinson, director of the FAMU Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems, received a $3.4 million research grant, which was the fourth installment of a five-year grant, from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems. The research focuses on resilient coastal communities and ecosystems given the threat of devastating hurricanes.
“Given the emergence of new challenges such as COVID-19,” Robinson said, “we must redouble our research efforts to find solutions. Society is looking to us for answers.”
The indirect costs collections for research were more than $4 million, which is also a record, said Charles Weatherford, Ph.D., vice president for Research.
“This was a record-breaking year for the FAMU Research Enterprise. Had it not been for the pandemic laboratory shutdown, we would have broken every record, including the record for research and development spending,” said Weatherford, who obtained a $980,000 grant from the Consortium for High Energy Density Science, National Nuclear Security Agency.
“These metrics were achieved as a result of the excellent efforts by FAMU’s research active faculty and staff and indicates that we are making steady progress toward our goal of Carnegie Research I (RI) classification for Research Universities,” Weatherford added.
FAMU is a Carnegie Research 2 university. RI universities have the highest research activity.
Some of the larger awards include a $5.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to Karam Soliman, Ph.D., of the FAMU Center for Health Disparities Research; $4 million to Patricia Green-Powell and staff of the FAMU Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI) from the Florida Department of Health for medical marijuana public service education.
MMERI was launched in response to the Florida legislature’s funding allocation to educate the public about medical marijuana and the impact of the unlawful use of marijuana on the state’s diverse communities. FAMU is allocated $10 from each medical marijuana identity card sold in the state.
College of Agriculture and Food Sciences Dean Robert Taylor, Ph.D., secured $1.6 million from the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative Extension Program.
Stephen Leong, Ph.D., received a $1.8 million USDA grant for the FAMU Evans-Allen Research Program that runs from 2018 to 2020.
Kellie O’Dare, Ph.D., secured $1 million from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the Northwest Florida First Responder Resiliency Project.
Subramanian Ramakrishnam, Ph.D., received a $1 million for the Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology.
Charmane Caldwell, Ph.D., of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering was awarded a $1 million National Service Foundation grant to retain undergraduate engineering students.