University awaits word on OIPP proposals
Feb 15, 2008
From staff reports
Ohio University expects to receive word at the end of this month on state funding for the four Choose Ohio First Scholarship competition proposals in which it is the lead or co-lead institution. Also submitted to the Ohio Board of Regents recently were four Ohio Research Scholars Program proposals in which the university is a major partner. Funding decisions on those are expected in May
Both programs are part of the Ohio Innovation Partnership Program, a $250 million legislative initiative that will provide for investments in university science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical (STEMM) programs.
The Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program (COFS) will distribute $110 million to universities to prompt higher enrollments and graduation rates in STEMM disciplines.
"We are committed to the Choose Ohio First program, and we are committed to using the full amount of funds that the General Assembly had in mind to recruit and increase the number of students in the STEMM programs across Ohio," Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut said during a videoconference with participating institutions in late January. "This is a cornerstone of our future efforts to build our high-quality education system in Ohio."
In light of Gov. Ted Strickland's announced budget reductions, Fingerhut has said changes would be made in how COFS will be managed. "Specifically, we will provide funds for the scholarships as they are earned by the student, not at the time the college or university earns the right to award the scholarship," he said in a written response to the governor's Jan. 31 budget announcement.
A seven-member external review panel has received the COFS proposals and will meet with Fingerhut to report its funding recommendations. Each of the panelists lives and works outside Ohio and is a nationally known expert in his or her discipline, Fingerhut said. They will give each proposal a score based on criteria established by the Board of Regents. Fingerhut, guided by the review panel, will decide on the amount of funding awarded to each chosen proposal.
Here's a recap of the COFS proposals Ohio University submitted:
Ohio Consortium for Bioinformatics: Funding would provide scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students in the emerging field of bioinformatics, which involves the use of high-performance computing to analyze larges amounts of biological and medical data. The technology assists in finding cures for diseases, making advances in agriculture and enhancing industrial opportunities. The proposal involves the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Arts and Sciences and 24 collaborating institutions and partners. It requests $4,475,300 in funding.
Comprehensive Academic and Research Experiences (CAREs): This is a proposal to provide undergraduate scholarships tied to comprehensive academic and research experiences for students seeking degrees in STEMM fields. This proposal is centered in the College of Arts and Sciences' departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biological Sciences. It involves six collaborating institutions and partners and requests $2,406,300 in funding.
Interactive Virtual Environments (IVE): Under this proposal, a STEMM-based undergraduate and graduate scholarship program would be created through an Interactive Virtual Environments initiative. Participating colleges include the Scripps College of Communication, College of Health and Human Services, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, College of Education and College of Fine Arts. It also involves six collaborating institutions and partners. It requests $2,383,100 in funding.
COFSP Proposal Serving Appalachia: This proposal was submitted with co-lead institution Shawnee State University and focuses on undergraduate and graduate scholarships for economically disadvantaged students in STEMM and STEMM-educator fields. It brings together faculty from the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Arts and Sciences, and 12 collaborating institutions and partners. It requests $5,029,000 in funding.
Twenty-eight proposals requesting $133 million were received from 12 public and four private colleges and universities. Each proposal from a private institution was submitted in partnership with a public institution. Final decisions on funding for COFS proposals are expected to be announced Feb. 29.
Also under the Ohio Innovation Partnership Program, the Legislature set aside $150 million to fund the Ohio Research Scholars Program (ORSP). Fingerhut and the Ohio Department of Development are overseeing that competition.
The program's goal is to develop new and strengthen existing centers of research excellence that are capable of making significant contributions to Ohio's economy in the areas of advanced materials; biosciences; instruments, controls and electronics; information technology; and power and propulsion. Funding requests can range from $2.5 million to $50 million.
As with the COFS competition, public universities and colleges were to form partnerships with one another as well as with commercial and nonprofit entities. Proposals were submitted to the Ohio Board of Regents on Feb. 4.
Ohio University is a major partner in four proposals:
Ohio Computational Science Scholars: This is a collaboration between Ohio University (lead institution), Kent State University, Ohio Supercomputer Center, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Toledo, Wright State University and Youngstown State University. Participating Ohio University units include the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Arts and Sciences. The total request for state funding is $43,320,740.
Advanced Energy Systems via Green Industrialization: A collaboration between Ohio State University (lead applicant), Case Western Reserve, University of Toledo and Ohio University, this proposal involves the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Ohio University's share of the funding request is $4,820,000.
"Consortium for Cancer Diagnostics and Targeted Therapies," a collaboration between Ohio State University (lead applicant), University of Cincinnati, University of Toledo and Ohio University. Participating Ohio University units include the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Ohio University's share of the funding request is $8 million.
"Cluster of Excellence in Nano-Scale Multifunctional Materials," a collaboration between Wright State University (lead applicant), Central State University, Ohio University, NASA Glenn, National Composite Center, Mound Laser and Photonics Center Inc., and Edison Materials Technology Center. Participating Ohio University units include the College of Arts and Sciences and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Ohio University's share of the funding request is $7,968,032.
As with the COFS proposals, ORSP proposals are to be evaluated by a panel of external reviewers. There has been no indication from the Chancellor's Office that the ORSP might be scaled back due to state budget cuts. Grants are to be awarded in May.
University preps Ohio Innovation Partnership proposals http://www.ohio.edu/outlook/07-08/November/194n.cfm
Ohio Board of Regents http://regents.ohio.gov
Published: Feb 15, 2008 12:25 PM