The University of Central Florida brought in a record $192.1 million in research funding for fiscal year 2019, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science led the way with $50.46 million in funding.

In fiscal year 2018, UCF’s research funding came in at $183.1 million, an increase over FY’17. This growth trend sets the university on a path toward its strategic goal of $250 million by 2020.

In FY’19, 26 grants worth more than $1 million each and 155 first-time lead investigators helped UCF grow its research portfolio. The university saw more funding from federal agencies ($104.8 million) and industry ($66 million), with the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health contributing $25.3 million and $12.9 million, respectively.

Research funding in the College of Engineering and Computer Science included a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to make faster, better computer chips that can process massive amounts of data in record time without overheating; and a $400,000 grant from the JDRF to create a cannula with a novel coating that resists infection that could one day vastly improve the quality of daily life for diabetes patients.

“We have hired a good number of outstanding faculty in the past six years in areas of national importance,” said Michael Georgiopoulos. “They have developed mature research portfolios and are now being recognized by their peers in their respective disciplines, resulting in impressive funding productivity. Furthermore, the more senior faculty in the college are continuing with their sustained, good funding performances. These two contributing factors have resulted in an overall outstanding college funding performance for two years running.”

For the past three years, the UCF Office of Research has been implementing several changes to support researchers in their work from streamlining the grant submission process to providing additional training opportunities to help faculty prepare proposals.

“It’s been a good year thanks to the efforts of our faculty and the support teams in our office and in the colleges,” says Elizabeth Klonoff, UCF’s vice president for Research. “Together we are adding knowledge to various disciplines and enriching our communities. I’m especially proud of the work our team has done to help first-time investigators propose and successfully obtain grants. These first-time investigators played a big role in our continued success. We are well on our way to meeting our financial goals and producing results that change lives.”

Among the grants UCF obtained in fiscal year 2019 are:

  • $1.1 million to develop a computer-based, artificial intelligence and tutoring tool that monitors students’ learning activities, facial expressions, eye movements and interactions with avatars and adapts its instruction delivery to help students learn more effectively.
  • $1.1 million to study the use of artificial intelligence for training purposes.
  • $15 million to study the effectiveness of trauma management therapy and prolonged exposure therapy for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in active duty personnel.

UCF is continuing to invest in the future of research. The university has rolled out several digital infrastructure projects that will help modernize the research enterprise. Once complete, the upgrades are to help make research at UCF a more efficient and user-friendly process. That will give researchers more time to spend doing what they do best – making discoveries and solving some of the toughest problems facing our world.

To learn more about research at UCF, visit https://www.research.ucf.edu

– UCF –

Pictured: Assistant Prof. Kareem Ahmed and his graduate student.