Obama's Science Boom
It's been five months since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which delivered the largest increase in basic research funding in American history—$21.5 billion.
So what's happening with the science money?
According to The Science Coalition, ARRA research grants are creating new university jobs, creating thousands of research awards, expediting tens of thousands of grant applications, buying equipment, and supporting some $3.5 billion of science-related construction projects for research facilities and capital equipment.
And that's not all. The Department of Energy is establishing 16 Energy Frontier Research Centers on university campuses to accelerate development of new energy technologies. Each center will support a full staff of researchers, technicians, and grad students and postdocs.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is using ARRA funds to support the construction of major new academic research facilities in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and Texas.
Some 3,000 college students, high school students, and teachers in 49 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, are participating in ARRA-funded summer jobs programs, getting lab experience at the nation's leading biomedical research facilities.
Here's a small sample of projects funded by state:
- West Virginia: $751,506 to Marshall U in partnership with West Virginia University to support 50 undergrad students and high school science educators for the next two years studying disease processes such as cancer and cardiovascular disease
- Minnesota: $362,400 to the U of Minnesota to create jobs and encourage students from minority and underserved communities to pursue careers in health-related sciences, including internships in cancer research for 10 undergrads and high school teacher training in cancer biology
- Ohio: federal stimulus money is fueling 15 NIH research projects at the Ohio State U this summer and supporting the lab work of five central Ohio science teachers and 49 students high school and college students
- Tennessee: $1.5 million ARRA grant to the U of Memphis to fund a six-year program to recruit, train, and support secondary education math and science teachers for the Memphis City Schools
- Michigan: $900,000 grant to Michigan Technological University to train 24 students and 12 professionals to teach STEM disciplines in high schools
- California: a grant to the U of California Santa Barbara Cal Teach program providing $10,000 fellowships for 75 teacher candidates pursuing masters degrees
- North Carolina: a $17.5 million grant to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for a center focusing on developing solar fuels from next-generation photovoltaic technology, supporting about 30 postdocs and grad students
- Massachusetts: a $19 million grant to fund the Center for Excitonics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, looking towards new materials for converting solar energy to electricity and for electrical energy storage
- Michigan: $19.5 million to the U of Michigan to study solar energy research, supporting 22 researchers studying nanoscale materials to determine their potential for converting solar energy into electricity
- Missouri: $20 million to Washington University in St. Louis to establish the Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center to study forms of energy based on the principles of light harvesting and energy funneling, plus educational outreach to K-12, undergrad, and grad levels
- Florida: $15 million to the U of Miami toward a Marine Technology and Life Science Seawater Research Building
- Alabama: $14 million to Auburn U toward the development of a Center for Advanced Science, Innovation and Commerce
- Texas: $11 million to Rice U toward the new Brockman Hall for Physics
- North Carolina: $15 million to the U of North Carolina Wilmington for a new facility for the Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina program