A scientist holds a container of vials.
Researchers at Bowling Green State University secured more than $15.5 million in new funding for research, which represents an increase from 2023. (BGSU photo/Craig Bell)

BGSU faculty and staff attain major boost in research funding during 2024

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Researchers at BGSU have secured $15.5 million in new awards, already surpassing the 2023 total

Researchers at Bowling Green State University made landmark gains during the still-ongoing 2024 fiscal year by securing $15.5 million in new awards, a significant increase in funding that allows faculty and staff to perform meaningful and high-impact research that benefits the public good.

The acquisition of new awards – which come from federal and state-level grants and partnerships with industry – surpassed the entire 2023 fiscal year total of just above $14 million with one quarter to go.

Dr. Ali Eskandarian, who served as the interim vice president of research, said the increase in funding shows the steadfast dedication of BGSU researchers.

“Really, the credit goes to our faculty and staff who made it possible,” Eskandarian said. “We are already ahead of the curve from where we were at this point last year, and there will no doubt be more when the fourth quarter ends.

“People worked extremely hard by taking on extra responsibilities and making this success possible. The real story is the vigilance and dedication of the faculty and staff we have here at BGSU, which goes even beyond externally funded research to include all research and creative activities.”

Altogether, BGSU faculty and staff are overseeing $17.3 million in active award dollars through three quarters, highlighting the quality, relevant research coming from the University. The 2024 fiscal year concludes on June 30.

“One thing that is noticeable is that our faculty earned larger amounts of funding and did so with fewer submissions for grants than the previous year,” Eskandarian said. “I think that there is a level of enthusiasm among faculty about research, and I think it is probably fair to say there is momentum in the direction of doing more research.”

Mark Fox, the director of Technology Transfer and Services as well as the interim director of Sponsored Programs and Research, said support systems exist at BGSU for faculty who are interested in starting, expanding or transforming research ideas, which can blossom into anything from publication in an academic journal to a patent to a full-fledged business.

Fox said they encourage faculty to interact with them directly, as they can identify and even facilitate possible funding sources, whether that be a traditional grant or an industry partnership.

“As we get to know people’s research, we often see a grant that may pertain, so we can do a direct hand-off where we say, ‘This might be a great fit for your project,’” Fox said. “The more we know about a faculty member’s research objectives and goals, the more we can help make these kinds of matches.”

H2O Water Quality Research 2022
Dr. W. Robert Midden, center, leads a team of students in field research as part of H2Ohio, the state initiative to reduce harmful algal blooms. (BGSU photo/Craig Bell)

Funded research projects

Faculty at BGSU received notable grants for many relevant research projects that seek to improve the human condition through scientific understanding. Among the fiscal year awards:

  • Associate Psychology Professor Dr. Daniel Maitland earned a $710,000 grant from the National Institute of General Medicine Studies to study the connections between loneliness and cardiovascular disease;
  • The Department of Justice awarded $1.85 million to Dr. Kristina LaVenia, an associate professor in the School of Counseling Higher Education, Leadership and Foundation, for mental health and wellbeing development and delivery for school personnel in Ohio;
  • A team spearheaded by Dr. Joe Furgal secured a $482,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that funded the purchase of a ‘game changing’ mass spectrometer that allows BGSU scientists to significantly streamline data collection during water quality research;
  • BGSU scientists continued their work as part of H2Ohio, the state-led initiative that includes studying wetlands as a way to mitigate Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), as Emeritus Chemistry Professor Dr. W. Robert Midden and Associate Hydrology and Hydrogeology Professor Dr. Ganming Liu received awards of $154,812 and $114,402, respectively;
  • Geology Professor Dr. Kurt Panter won $359,717 from the National Science Foundation to investigate heat sources, heat fluctuations and the greater impact in the Ross Sea in Antarctica;
  • School of Engineering Director and Professor Dr. MD Sarder earned a $332,828 grant from the Economic Development Administration for Advancing Regional Talent in Smart Technology Enabled Manufacturing (ART in STEM), to transform a smart manufacturing curriculum for undergraduate students and training industry professionals in Ohio.

Altogether, the significant increase in research awards during the 2024 fiscal year underscores the capability of the University while also paving a path for an even greater ability to perform research in the future.

“We’re working to find those efficiencies to provide the support necessary for faculty to be successful,” Fox said. “I think we’re really on the cusp of more resources that can push us forward.”

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Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349

Updated: 05/28/2024 09:09AM