UNCP wins National
Science Foundation research grant
UNC Pembroke's Department
of Chemistry and Physics is breaking new ground
in undergraduate research.
UNCP was notified
in early January that it won a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant
to conduct research on chemical and radiation sensors, said project
leader Dr. Paul Flowers. It is a three-year grant, worth an estimated
are from the NSF's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program,"
Dr. Flowers said. "Most of these grants go to large institutions
and a handful of elite liberal arts universities. UNCP is a non-traditional
site for them."
The grant will support
the research of three UNCP professors - Dr. Flowers, a chemist, Dr.
Tom Dooling, a physicist, and biochemist Dr. Siva Manjiny - and six
undergraduate assistants, three from UNCP and three from community colleges
in the region.
proposal offered a very unique feature of having experienced Ph.D. scientists
working one-on-one with students on a daily basis," Dr. Flowers
said. "We are going to work very hard to make this a productive
three years that may result in continued funding for many years to come."
Dr. Flowers just
completed work on a three-year individual NSF grant. In 15 years at
UNCP, one of his missions has been to promote undergraduate research,
said Dr. Jose D'Arruda, long-time chair of the Department of Chemistry
"Paul is UNCP's
top research scientist," said Dr. D'Arruda. "I am very proud
of this development for our department and the University."
The UNCP professors
will conduct fundamental research on sensor development in three areas:
- preparation and
evaluation of membranes for extraction and isolation of target substances;
- development of
spectroscopic and electrochemical sensor transduction schemes; and
- design and characterization
of novel radiation sensors.
of this program may yield results that contribute to fundamental knowledge
in various fields of study relevant to chemical and radiation sensing.
Some of the applications may be useful to Homeland Security.
A unique feature
of the project is a follow-up online course that will prepare students
for presenting their research at conferences.
Lynda Parlett, interim
Director of Sponsored Research and Programs at UNCP, worked with Dr.
Flowers on the grant.
"This is big,
really big, for the University, our students and faculty," Parlett
said. "With this grant we become an NSF research university. It's
a door opening for us."
UNCP lobbied for
the grant in Washington, and the University chipped in research funds,
Dr. Flowers said.
"I take my
hat off to the Provost (Dr. Roger Brown) and the Chancellor (Dr. Allen
C. Meadors)," Dr. Flowers said. "Without their support, this
would not have happened."
Provost and Vice
Chancellor for Academic Affairs Roger Brown praised Dr. Flowers and
the Office of Sponsored Research for winning this prestigious grant.
in America knows that the National Science Foundation is the most difficult
research funding agency to impress," Dr. Brown said. "The
fact that Dr. Flowers successfully competed with much larger and wealthier
colleges and universities is more evidence of the growing realization
that UNC Pembroke has high quality academic research to go along with
its reputation for outstanding teaching and student satisfaction. I
want to warmly congratulate Paul Flowers and thank him for his leadership."
to University Newswire