Just like rubbing the heads of the turtles on the Tri Delt sundial, avoiding the university seal while crossing through the Hub, and kissing under the Upham arch, research, scholarship, and creative activity are strong traditions at Miami University.
But while those other traditions are free, research, scholarship, and creative activity are not. These are made possible by funding awarded to the university by federal, state, and private agencies. As detailed in OARS’ recently released annual report, this support totaled $18.8 million in FY2015.
In a funding environment as challenging as the one we currently face, this
level of success owes entirely to the dedication of the faculty and staff who work tirelessly to secure funding for their projects.
Highlights of our success include:
- A successful crowdfunding campaign by Andor Kiss, adjunct assistant professor and supervisor in the Center for Bioinformatics & Functional Genomics, as well as development of a new crowdfunding platform to engage Miami alumni, family, and friends.
- The first full academic year of operation for the Office of Research for Undergraduates, led by Joseph Johnson.
- Publication of a Brain Research cover article co-authored by undergraduate zoology major Matt Deer, graduate student Aminata Coulibaly, and biology professor Lori Isaacson.
- Awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Philosophical Society in support of associate professor of art history Andrew Casper’s work on historical conceptions of artifice and authenticity related to the Shroud of Turin.
- A grant of more than $1 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF)for chemistry and biochemistry professor Stacey Lowery-Bretz’s work to develop assessments to improve chemistry education.
- College of Education, Health, and Society faculty Susan Mosley-Howard and Kate Rousmaniere’s continued work with the Myaamia Center to study the effect of self-identity on the college success of Native students.
- Assistant professor of history Tatiana Seijas’ fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library, where she researched the Indian Camino Real, a North American trade route that dates to the pre-Columbian era.
- The continuation of the long-running Project High Flight, led by Bob Setlock from the College of Engineering and Computing. High Flight is an interdisciplinary endeavor to develop a remote-controlled, high altitude balloon to fly missions to the edge of space.
- Analytic work by undergraduates in management professor Josh Schwarz’s human capital metrics class that helped international company Alcoa find a path to reducing employee turnover.
- An NEH challenge grant awarded to the Humanities Center, led by director Tim Melley, to help ensure the Center’s long-term viability.
For many faculty, a strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate
education is a key motivator. External funding enables faculty to engage students in authentic, real-world projects. It’s a tradition they share with more than 2000 undergraduates and more than 1000 graduate students each year. The strong connection among faculty, graduate, and undergraduate research creates an exceptional learning environment that is one of the hallmarks of the Miami Experience. No wonder Miami’s masters and doctoral graduates are highly sought in all sectors and Miami is consistently ranked among the best institutions for undergraduate teaching by US News & World Report.
We remain proud of all the faculty, staff, and students whose work contributes to Miami University’s tradition of combining strong liberal education with outstanding research and scholarly activities. And we remain dedicated to supporting our researchers, scholars, and creative artists with effective strategies for finding and securing funding for the important work they do.
Written by Jim Oris, Associate Provost for Research & Scholarship, Miami University.
Photos by Miami University Photo Services.