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FSU announces record year for research grants

Kirby Kemper

Florida State University faculty earned a record $190 million in research grants during fiscal year 2005-06.

The amount represents a 17.9 percent increase over the previous year’s $161.1 million in research grants, according to Vice President for Research Kirby Kemper. Researchers at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory brought in the most grant money with a total of $33.7 million, and researchers at the Learning Systems Institute brought in $17.7 million.

"Our faculty and staff have worked really hard and it shows," Kemper said.

"The number of grants submitted by them has gone up 5 percent in the last year. It’s a tribute to the efforts of the researchers in every department and institute that they are so highly competitive at a national level."

As an example of FSU’s research prominence, Kemper said FSU consistently ranks in the Top 10 of all U.S. universities in terms of grants awarded from the National Science Foundation in the physical sciences.

While the magnet laboratory has always been a research powerhouse, the diversification of the Learning Systems Institute’s mission has resulted in many more projects that are funded by larger research grants, Kemper said.

For example, in October 2005 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded LSI a $6.2 million grant to develop national performance standards and a training curriculum for port security and other personnel to prevent, deter and respond to terrorist acts.

The College of Human Sciences is among the academic areas that saw a big jump in research dollars during the last fiscal year. The college brought in $1.7 million in fiscal year 2005-06, an increase of more than 170 percent over fiscal year 2004-05. About half of
that amount can be attributed to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Professor Jasminka Ilich for the longest and largest study to date on the effects of calcium on weight reduction and bone preservation in overweight postmenopausal women.