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Faculty Research Powers New Funding Record for USF St. Petersburg

USF St. Petersburg campus

The USF St. Petersburg campus had a banner year for research funding in 2019-20, receiving more than $20 million in grants and awards, which is a new university record. The previous funding record was approximately $7 million during the 2018-19 academic year.

Funding sources came from a variety of national institutions, corporations and state organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Archives, AT&T, Gilead Sciences and the Florida Department of Education. Grants and awards are going towards the establishment of mental health awareness training in K-12 schools, community programs to diminish the stigma around HIV, research that seeks to uncover the true economic losses caused by red tide and cutting-edge exploration into early Florida history.

“This is a remarkable accomplishment for a campus of our size,” said Martin Tadlock, USF St. Petersburg campus regional chancellor. “The continued increase in research awards received by our incredible faculty is critical to all of us who live in St. Petersburg and the Tampa Bay region. The research directly addresses major societal issues impacting people’s lives, while the funding received goes directly into the local economy.”

Some of the major research grants received by the USF St. Petersburg campus over the past academic year include:

  • $10 million towards leading a major state initiative to empower K-12 school personnel to recognize and respond to symptoms of emotional and mental distress among students. The funding will support district to set up training around such key issues as sex trafficking, substance use and abuse, suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
  • $1.3 million is helping to create an alliance to increase minority women faculty in STEM tenure-track positions and those earning doctorates across the higher education ecosystem. The Florida AGEP Pathways Alliance will work with 300 doctoral, post-doctoral and early-career minority women faculty to advance their careers in STEM.
  • $277,000 is going to research that seeks to uncover the true economic losses caused by red tide. The study is designed to analyze impacts from harmful algal bloom to numerous sectors of the economy – from tourism and seafood to industries where impacts are less visible, such as healthcare and construction.
  • $250,000 was awarded to La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archives of the Americas. The grant will go towards a new initiative titled “Europeans, Indians, and Africans: Lost Voices from America’s Oldest Parish Archive, 1594-1821,” which is designed to make St. Augustine’s diocesan archives accessible to a global audience.
  • $70,000 will help target the multiple stigmas surrounding HIV in Tampa Bay, with the goal of increasing health screenings and diminishing the spread of the disease. A community program will be implemented that works with individuals and communities most affected by the epidemic.
  • $50,000 will leverage citizen engagement and crowdsourced data to identify climate vulnerabilities in local communities. The Community Resiliency Information System (CRIS) is designed to “make smart cities smarter” by allowing residents from diverse communities to collect data and communicate directly with elected officials through their smartphones.

“The faculty at USF St. Petersburg continue to reach new heights with an unprecedented growth in successful grant activity,” said Cathi Cardwell, the interim regional associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and dean of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. “In addition to finding solutions for challenging societal problems, they work closely with our students to provide research opportunities.”

A list of all research grants and funded projects in the 2019-20 academic year can be found here: https://www.stpetersburg.usf.edu/research/

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