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Northern Kentucky University partnering on $8.25 million grant to address research funding inequities

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded more than $8.25M to Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV), an initiative of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), for a program that addresses inequities in academic research funding by supporting underrepresented higher education institutions with research infrastructure.

The project, Granting Emerging and Developing Institutions a Competitive EDGE (Equitable and Diverse Grant Ecosystem) – KCV EDGE, will provide holistic support for research grant administration to partner institutions Kentucky State University, Northern Kentucky University and Morehead State University.

“National academic research opportunities abound, but many higher education institutions are faced with inequitable access to funding,” said KCV Executive Director Kayla Meisner. “We designed KCV EDGE to dismantle these barriers and give our regional, rural, minority-serving, and community and technical institutions a competitive advantage when pursuing federal research grants. Through their success, we can transform research infrastructure in the commonwealth and beyond.”

The program builds on KCV’s centralized technology transfer services for Kentucky’s public colleges and universities. KCV EDGE also leverages partnerships with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky and others to build competitiveness and capacity in regional institutions for securing and managing research grants.

“This award is a testament to the work of Kentucky Commercialization Ventures and the many higher education researchers, who are already creating opportunities for Kentucky to build upon the economic momentum we’re experiencing throughout the state,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “We know there are great ideas coming from faculty, staff and students on campuses across Kentucky. By helping all of our postsecondary institutions succeed in pursuing additional research funding, KCV EDGE will strengthen Kentucky’s competitiveness as a center for research and innovation while creating high-quality jobs in the region.”

KCV EDGE partner institutions will receive support in grant proposal writing, administration and compliance, technology commercialization and leadership development. Additionally, more than $5M of the grant will be given in subawards to partner institutions in order to build institutional capacity, such as staffing, to support an expanded research enterprise.

“NKU is excited to design and implement a more robust research development strategy with the support of the GRANTED funds,” said NKU Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Research and Outreach Dr. Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh.

The KCV EDGE program is slated to support Kentucky State University, Northern Kentucky University and Morehead State University for a period of five years, with a goal of helping each institution develop sustainable research infrastructure. The KCV team expects to expand the program into a statewide model and ultimately a national model that increases access to research funding and technology transfer support.

“Adding a grants arm to KCV is a natural expansion of our support for Kentucky’s higher education institutions without dedicated technology transfer resources,” said KSTC President Terry Samuel. “This unprecedented shared services model is already making a difference for innovators throughout the state, and with the addition of KCV EDGE, has the power to make a national impact.”

KCV EDGE is funded through NSF’s Growing Research Access for Nationally Transformative Equity and Diversity (GRANTED) program. GRANTED focuses on addressing systemic barriers within the nation’s research enterprise by improving research support and service capacity.

To learn more about KCV EDGE, visit kycommercializationventures.com.

Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation

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One Comment

  1. W. Jamie Ruehl says:

    “the federal government sets aside $450 million to NSF annually”

    How many layers in the bureaucracy can we add?

    What is not “equitable” is the amount of people taking from the grants in the name of “knocking down barriers” to that grant money.

    This is what happens when we over-tax in the name of redistribution. The money-grab creates multiple grifters where there wouldn’t be if the money wasn’t taken from the productive people via taxes.

    Private return on investment (ROI) is MUCH higher than public money invested. When someone invests their own money, they are more careful and plan better. When someone invests someone else’s money, the lack of ownership quickly turns into poor spending habits and/or lack of accountability.

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