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Great Strides in Research

News Story

Cybersecurity, nursing abroad, social justice, and so much more—in the last few years, Pace University has made great strides in research. Here is the latest update from the Office of Sponsored Research.

During the first quarter of FY16, Pace University received a total of $4,011,926 in grant funding. This represents a six percent increase compared to the first quarter in the previous fiscal year. Please note that the $4 million figure includes new awards made in the first quarter of FY16, as well as continued funding on multi-year projects that were awarded in the first quarter of previous fiscal years.

Many of the Colleges/Schools received funding during this reporting period: College of Health Professions ($80,872), Dyson College of Arts and Sciences ($307,716), School of Education ($1,480,924), School of Law ($1,520,641), and the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems ($621,773). In total, these awards will bring $352,067 in indirect costs to the University.

This funding is facilitating innovative, impactful scholarship/research, training, and outreach activities at Pace. Below, are a few of the funded projects in each of these categories; they are exemplars of the range of sponsored activities in which Pace faculty, staff, and students are engaged.

Research/Scholarship/Creative Activities

Many of the funded projects support research and scholarship at Pace. Dyson Assistant Professor Emily Bent received a three-year, $45,000 award from the Feminist Majority Foundation to support her scholarship, which focuses on teenage girls’ political participation at the United Nations in support of human rights for girls. College of Health Professions Professor and Associate Dean Carol Roye received an award through the American Nurses Foundation to fund her research on adolescent reproductive health. Seidenberg Associate Professor Meikang Qiu received a three-year, $60,000 award for his research on big data storage; his work will lead to novel big data storage algorithms and improvements in system performance.

Student Training/Scholarships/Support

Other awards directly enhance the teaching and training mission of the University, and support important student success programs and initiatives. Dyson Professor and Assistant Dean Maria Iacullo-Bird received a five-year grant from the Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program for $1.1 million. This funding will create a support services network for 160 low-income or first-generation students, which will facilitate their successful completion of their undergraduate degrees and continued education and career development in graduate programs. Seidenberg Professor Li-Chiou Chen received a five-year competitive renewal of the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program in cybersecurity from the National Science Foundation. This program facilitates the interdisciplinary education and training of diverse undergraduate and graduate students to prepare them for careers in the field of cybersecurity. Both of these very large, impressive awards will greatly augment the educational and career trajectories of Pace students.

Pace faculty received other awards that fund student scholarships, including to female undergraduate students pursuing nursing (Switzer Foundation, PI: Geraldine Colombraro, Associate Dean, College of Health Professions), students receiving training in information assurance (Department of Defense, PI: Li-Chiou Chen, Professor, Seidenberg), and teachers getting their early childhood education certifications (New York City Division of Early Childhood Education, PI: Raquel Plotka, Assistant Professor, School of Education).

It is noteworthy that several awards described above are directly related to reducing academic disparities for students from lower socioeconomic status (e.g., Iacullo-Bird’s Student Support Services grant) or broadening participation/increasing diversity in STEM (e.g., Chen’s CyberCorps program). Other awards that fall in this category include Dyson Professor Jessica Lavareiga-Monforti’s $10,000 grant from the American Political Science Association to convene a workshop to build mentoring networks among women of color in political science.

Community Engagement

Funding received during this reporting period has supported activities that benefit the surrounding community in New York. For example, the AHRC New York City provided funding for Pace students to mentor students with intellectual and other disabilities on computer skills through the “Catching a Dream” program (PI: James Lawler, Professor, Seidenberg). Many of the contracts and awards to the Law School have an outreach component; for example, funding received by the Pace Community Law Practice will connect and provide low-income immigrants with legal services that will support their access to economic opportunity (Immigrant Justice Corps, PI: Karin Anderson Ponzer, Executive Director of the Pace Community Law Practice, Law School), and the Pace Women’s Justice Center will provide legal services to victims of elder abuse (Westchester County, PI: Cindy Kanusher, Executive Director of the Women’s Justice Center, Law School). The Energy and Climate Center continues to receive funding to support legal activities which lead to better clean energy outcomes, including a $295,000 award from the Energy Foundation during this reporting period (PI: David Gahl, Director of Strategic Engagement of the Energy and Climate Center, Law School).

Submitted Proposals

During the first quarter, Pace faculty and staff submitted 39 proposals to a wide variety of funding agencies and foundations, including the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Education (at both the federal and state levels), and many foundations (e.g., Pinkerton Foundation, Autism Speaks, and Gates Foundation). There are 16 submissions still pending. We are optimistic that some of these submissions will successfully result in new award announcements in subsequent quarterly reports.

The Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) provides a variety of assistance to all faculty and staff, departments, schools, centers and institutes seeking outside funding. OSR can assist at all stages of the process, including identifying funding opportunities, developing budgets, facilitating proposal preparation, and submitting the final proposal. Please do not hesitate to contact them with any questions or if you would like additional information or assistance with the grants process. For more information, click here.