West Virginia University has signed two new agreements that could lead to more opportunities in research funding.
In the last 54 years WVU has been affiliated with a national consortium of universities that has provided more than $1 million in research funding for faculty, post doctoral fellows and graduate and undergraduate students in 2010 alone.
Visitors from Oak Ridge Associated Universities were on campus this week to learn more about WVU research, alert faculty to funding opportunities and honor current and past WVU participants in Oak Ridge programs.
Oak Ridge encompasses 98 Ph.D.-granting universities across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Puerto Rico. WVU has been a member of the consortium since 1957.
WVU Provost Michele Wheatly and Vice President for Research and Economic Development Curt Peterson Arlene Garrison, Oak Ridge vice president of university partnerships for a day-long visit that was capped by a signing ceremony that promises greater levels of cooperation between WVU and her organization. Peterson is a member of the consortium’s board.
Oak Ridge officials explained that the consortium works to bring together University faculty and students to collaborate on major scientific initiatives that help keep the U.S. on the leading edge of science and technology.
Garrison and Robert Zinn of Oak Ridge’s National Security and Emergency Management Program met with WVU’s health, science, and engineering faculty and administrators to develop a greater understanding about WVU’s comprehensive research and educational capabilities. Research related to climate, energy from fuel cells and biomass, biometrics, and forensics were featured during an afternoon tour.
“We see the greatest opportunity for growth in forensics,” Garrison said during the tour.
In 2010, Oak Ridge’s support for WVU research included: $70,000 for faculty; $418,000 for postdoctoral fellows; $231,000 for postgraduate internships; and $104,000 for graduate students. ORAU also facilitated $228,000 for WVU research with the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control, the Federal Drug Administration, and NASA.
Two WVU graduate students received Oak Ridge support to attend the 60th Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany.
Recently, the organization awarded WVU’s Nicolas Zegre, a second-year assistant professor in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, a prestigious 2011 Ralph E. Powe Jr. Faculty Enhancement Award to study hydrology in West Virginia that will help him learn more about the causes of damaging floods in southern West Virginia.
Richard Bajura, director of WVU’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy, serves as the University’s Oak Ridge Associated Universities councilor and works to provide advice and assistance to WVU researchers interested in pursuing Oak Ridge opportunities. He said details about the various programs are available at http://see.orau.org .
Participation in Oak Ridge programs is seen as a positive for young scientists entering the job market.
“Most federal agencies look to hire scientists who have participated in an internship or postgraduate work at their laboratories through programs such as the ones offered by ORAU,” said Garrison.
CONTACT: Richard Bajura
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