University of Texas at Austin researchers have received 123 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants for nearly $56 million.
The projects are spread among 14 schools and units with many of the projects crossing disciplinary boundaries. They range from research into energy sources and storage devices, environmental questions, biomedical applications, new materials and technologies and other areas.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the most ARRA funds to University of Texas at Austin researchers with almost $30 million followed by the Department of Energy (DOE) with $13.1 million and the National Institutes of Health with $10 million.
“University-based research has been a powerful driver of economic development for decades,” said Juan Sanchez, the university’s vice president for research. “Through projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, our scientists, scholars and engineers are developing new knowledge on which new industries can be built and jobs created.”
An example of an ARRA project at the university that could have a far-reaching impact is an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) funded with $15 million from the DOE.
The center will focus on better understanding the molecular processes that underpin innovative nanomaterials that could be used in solar energy and batteries. Paul Barbara, holder of the Richard J. V. Johnson Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry and director of the Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology, leads the center.
“The EFRC will allow us to develop completely new paradigms that address key fundamental scientific roadblocks to achieving U.S. energy security, and will also promote education and technology transfer in alternative energy,” Barbara said.
Highlights of other ARRA-funded projects at the university include:
- A two-year, $841,000 grant from the NIH to Dr. Andrea Gore, professor of pharmacy, to study the transgenerational effects of environmental contaminants on neurological and reproductive development.
- A $1.5 million grant from the NIH to scrutinize the influenza A virus for clues that could lead to more effective antiviral drugs. University of Texas at Austin and Rice University scientists are teaming up on the project.
- A $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to create a program to build resiliency among staff and volunteers who work with child abuse victims. The university’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the School of Social Work will look at how working with traumatized children affects practitioners professionally and personally, and create a national evidence-based resiliency model to help them meet those challenges.
- A $7 million NSF grant to the Texas Advanced Computing Center for a three-year project that will provide a new computing resource and the largest, most comprehensive suite of visualization and data analysis services to the open science community.
- A $994,702 grant from the DOE to help create a skilled workforce for the emerging carbon capture and storage industry and to build public awareness of the technology’s benefits.
Find more information about the ARRA at The University of Texas at Austin online.
Find more information about the ARRA at work at universities around the country at ScienceWorksForUS.org.