US Defense Research University Departments Secure $17.6M in DoD Grants to Advance Critical Research Initiatives


The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on March 10 its allocation of $17.6 million to 27 academic teams through the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR).

US Defense Research University Departments Secure $17.6M in DoD Grants to Advance Critical Research Initiatives

(Photo : WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Brittany A. Chase)

Enhancing Defence Research Infrastructure

DEPSCoR aims to bolster the United States' defence research capabilities by supporting institutions of higher learning in states and territories that have historically been underrepresented in this field. The initiative not only seeks to increase the involvement of academics in critical research areas for the DoD but also aims to strengthen the science and engineering capabilities of these institutions.

Dr. Bindu Nair, the director of DoD's Basic Research Office, highlighted the importance of tapping into the diverse research talents spread across the country. She emphasized that the success of the DoD's science and technology mission relies on a broad ecosystem of innovative researchers in every state.

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Two Competitions

The funding announcement follows two competitions held in Fiscal Year 2023: the DEPSCoR Research Collaboration competition and the DEPSCoR Capacity Building competition.

The Research Collaboration competition invited faculty members from eligible states and territories to submit proposals aligning with the DoD's research needs. Out of over 80 submissions, 25 collaborative teams were selected from universities across 15 states. Each team will receive up to $600,000 over three years to conduct research relevant to the DoD.

Winning teams include the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, investigating hypersonic vehicle heat shielding ablation, and Auburn University, studying dynamic loads on hovering rotor blades.

The Capacity Building competition aims to advance the strategic objectives of higher education institutes. Two teams, led by executive offices at Louisiana Tech University and the University of Tulsa, were chosen from over 15 submissions. These teams will receive up to $1.5 million each over two years to enhance their research capabilities.

Louisiana Tech University will focus on domestic manufacture of microelectronics for harsh environments, while the University of Tulsa will research ultra-high temperature materials for extreme conditions.

Significance of the Awards

The DoD awards signify a concerted effort to bolster defence research infrastructure and cultivate academic talent across the nation. The initiative underscores the importance of collaboration between the defence sector and academia in addressing national security challenges.

By investing in research initiatives at institutions across various states and territories, the DoD aims to leverage the expertise and resources available throughout the country, ensuring a diverse and innovative approach to advancing defence technologies.

Moreover, these awards serve as a recognition of the vital role that academic institutions play in contributing to national security and technological advancement. The collaboration between the DoD and universities not only benefits the defence sector but also fosters academic excellence and economic growth in regions historically underrepresented in defence research.

Overall, the DEPSCoR awards represent a strategic investment in the future of defence research and innovation, positioning the United States to maintain its leadership in cutting-edge technologies and scientific advancements relevant to national security.

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