Local University Receives over 50 Million in Sponsored Research and External Funding in Last Year

Special to The Truth

Central State University faculty and staff set a new
school record in sponsored research and external funding for the third
consecutive year by earning over 50 million during the 2021-22 fiscal year.
CSU shattered the previous benchmark of 26.7 million dollars achieved in
fiscal year 2020-21.

The historic achievement is consistent the
university’s explosive growth in annual sponsored research and external
funding.  Central State’s external funding has increased by over 137 percent
over the last three years from 21.1 million dollars in 2019 – 2020 to 50.05
million dollars in 2021 – 2022. The total does not include any CARES Act
funding awarded to universities in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“The sustained growth demonstrates that CSU’s core value of academic
excellence infused through the efforts of our faculty and staff is being
recognized by funding agencies” said CSU President Jack Thomas, PhD. The
record-breaking achievement advances the presidential priority to continue
to meet and enhance CSU’s 1890 Land-Grant mission of conducting cutting
edge research and using gained knowledge to address societal problems
through extension services according to Thomas. The growth in research
funding is part of CSU’s goal to attain a “Research Two” designation
as a high research institution within the next five years.

“Research and other externally funded activities provide tremendous
opportunities for faculty, students, and staff to engage in scholarly
activities outside the traditional classroom settings” said F. Erik
Brooks, PhD, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.  “Projects
funded will enhance CSU’s physical and human infrastructure including
state of the art equipment, upgraded facilities, technology, new faculty
and staff, professional development, and training opportunities.”

“CSU faculty and staff are being recognized for our rigorous pursuit of
knowledge that addresses societal concerns” says Morakinyo A.O. Kuti, PhD,
associate provost for Research. “The record setting amount demonstrates
that CSU is taking our rightful place as an institution of higher education
dedicated to improving the communities and society locally and globally
through evidenced based activities,” Kuti commented. “CSU is especially
proud of the inclusion of students in our efforts as it provides
experiential learning opportunities vital for their academic success and
future professional careers,” said Kuti.

Major projects funded this year include the following:

Ten million dollars from the US Department of Agriculture for the
“Sustainable Aquaculture Production of High Omega 3 Containing Fish Using
a Novel Feed Additive” The project is led by Brandy E. Phipps, PI, PhD,
Craig Schluttenhofer, PhD, and Krishna Kumar Nedunuri, Ph.D. (Co-PIs).
Project goals include researching the potential use of hemp as an
aquaculture feed, training and equipping new aquaculture producers,
increasing local production of produce and healthy fish, provide workforce
training for Native American and African American graduates.

3,582,160 dollars from the U.S. Department of Commerce for the Central
State University Workforce Training and Business Development Center. The
project is led by Morakinyo Kuti, PhD, with a team of faculty including
Fred Aikens, PhD; Arunasalam Rahunanthan, PhD; Mahmoud Abdallah, PhD; Ramani
Kandiah, PhD; Abayomi Ajayi-Majebi, PhD. and Sal Almestiri, PhD. The goal of the
project is to establish a Workforce Training and Business Development
Center that will serve underserved communities in Clark, Greene, and
Montgomery counties.

A grant of 599,982 dollars from the US Department of Agriculture for “Development of a
Holistic Nano Photocatalytic Approach for Controlling
Agriculturally-Induced Algal Blooms and Associated Cyanotoxins in Lake”.
Ning Zhang, PhD, serves as the project director. The goal of the project is
to build CSU with research capacity on developing and expanding
economically viable and environmentally compatible water treatment
technology, through developing advanced oxidation process for microcystins

A total of 597,461 dollars from the US Department of Agriculture grant for
“Introducing Ergonomics Safety in Agriculture Production through Use of a
Movement Studies Lab” project. Kathy Carter, PhD, serves as the project
director. The project aims to expand exercise science (EXS) research to
include the ergonomics of farm safety, as well as develop an ergonomics
curriculum within the EXS program.

A grant worth 538,986 dollars from the US Department of Agriculture for the
“Fastrack Farming:  A Training Program for Socially Disadvantaged and
Military Veteran Beginning Farmers during the COVID 19 Pandemic.”
Siddhartha Dasgupta, PhD, serves as the project director. The project’s goal is
to collaborate with community-based organizations in Ohio to train socially
disadvantaged and military veteran beginning farmers to start and manage
viable farms.