On September 9th, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced six new science and technology centers (STCs) and, for the first time, Appalachian State University is among the recipients. The STC program is one of the largest and most competitive within the NSF, touching every directorate of the agency, and “supports innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards.” Awards support a network of researchers with up to $25M over five years with the option to renew for an additional five years.
App State is one of nine institutions contributing to the NCSU-led, NSF Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS), and Dr. Christine Ogilvie Hendren, RIEEE Director, is one of five co-principal investigators. Hendren will direct STEPS integration efforts across disciplines, sectors and scales. Learn more about the team and project, including its ambitious goal to reduce global reliance on mined phosphorus by 25% in 25 years, in this recent Appalachian Today article.
Winning STEPS is exciting news for Appalachian, and the community of students and faculty who will have the opportunity to participate. Being part of a highly sought after Center-level NSF grant will provide a great opportunity to connect researchers and students across campus to an active and well-supported research network tackling a wicked, triple bottom line challenge critical to human survival. As a start toward such involvement, RIEEE will coalesce a STEPS working group in the coming months. STEPS funding will also be available through RIEEE each year for multiple faculty and undergraduate students to contribute to this important research from a variety of disciplines. Email Dr. Hendren to learn more and stay informed of STEPS opportunities.
RIEEE intends to utilize the working group model for other efforts across scales and topics in the coming years, as well. Join us to evolve our working group approach to enhancing research on campus on September 28th, 2-3pm. Join the RIEEE Google Group for all events, announcements and opportunities.