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A committee will begin its search for an associate provost for Research and Graduate Studies, according to an email announcement from the Office of the Provost.

Cheryl Stevens, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, sent a statement detailing her plan of action to expand the university’s research profile by increasing the amount of research grants, contracts and innovative graduate programs. 

The office is expecting this expansion to allow more opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to get involved in new fields of research, according to the announcement. This includes a possibility for undergraduate and graduate students to have more funding for enriching research opportunities.

The WKU Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is confident in its ability to help faculty and staff acquire outside funds, according to the statement. Additionally, the office hopes to supply pre-award support to those who choose to submit research proposals. 

Results from 2018-2019 include:

FY19 Sponsored Grants and Contracts awarded - $17,920,196

FY19 Instrumentation Grants awarded - $851,028

F19 Indirect Cost Recovery (F&A) - $1,549,711 (highest in 8 years)

Kevin Williams, chemistry professor and lead faculty representative, received $883,481 for biomedical and health related research.

Over $300,000 was funded to Williams for a Nuclear Magnetic Spectrometer and to Associate Professor Ajay Srivastava for a Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope.

The Tennessee Department of Health and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services funded over $500,000 to the Center for Applied Science in Health and Aging in a partnership between students and faculty.

This is WKU’s goal and part of the work towards fulfilling its academic mission through the placement of emphasized prominence on the university’s creative ventures, research and scholarship awards, according to the announcement.

“It has been documented that applied learning leads to better understanding of principles and better student outcomes,” Stevens said in the email. “It has also been documented that students that work with faculty on research projects are more likely to persist and ultimately graduate.”

Reporter Matthew Williams can be reached at matthew.williams904@topper.wku.edu