The National Science Foundation (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) awarded a new five-year, $20-million Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant to a consortium of higher education institutions in Delaware. The consortium includes the University of Delaware (UD), Delaware State University (DSU), Wesley College (Wesley), and Delaware Technical Community College (Del-Tech). In addition to the federal award, the State of Delaware has committed an additional $4 million in support of Delaware EPSCoR between 2013 and 2018.
Delaware EPSCoR Director and Principal Investigator Dr. Don Sparks, S Hallock duPont Chair, Plant and Soil Science, UD, will lead Delaware’s successful proposal, titled “Meeting Delaware’s 21st Century Water and Energy Challenges through Research, Education and Innovation.” Dr. Amy Slocum will serve as the associate director to the Delaware-EPSCoR program. Jeanette Miller is Delaware EPSCoR’s director of education, outreach and diversity.
“The UD partner institutions will participate in a variety of research activities based on four research themes,” said Wesley Professor of Chemistry and Director of Sponsored Research, Dr. Malcolm D’Souza. “Each institution will continually enhance their research and educational infrastructure to provide clear pathways to address gaps in the State-wide approach to strengthening the STEM workforce pipeline.”
At Wesley, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Patricia Dwyer will lead a variety of educational student-engagement initiatives to infuse undergraduate research and inquiry into the newly developed Wesley core-curriculum. Such student-centered curriculum changes will substantially improve Wesley student-retention and recruitment in STEM and related areas. Dr. D’Souza will lead undergraduate research activities in STEM areas through an existing Directed Research program, Scholars Day projects, and the senior-research capstone projects. Emily Wood will serve as the grants compliance coordinator.
Wesley President Dr. William N. Johnston will attend the EPSCoR Kickoff/Press Event at UD on August 29 and will highlight EPSCoR’s contributions to Wesley and what the funding will mean for Wesley in the next five years.