University awarded $5 million research grant

The National Science Foundation has awarded Florida A&M University a $5 million Centers for Research in Science and Technology grant.

The purpose of the grant is to fund a new research center, provide new academic programs in astrophysics and support the proposal of a new Ph.D. program in chemistry.

Pam Bryant, special assistant to the university president, expressed her enthusiasm about receiving the CREST grant.

“We have a team of excellent researchers in chemistry and physics that put together an awesome proposal,” Bryant said. “It involves a degree program in astrophysics and a major and concentration in two new disciplines.”

Bryant also said part of the proposal process aims to produce 15 African-American Ph.D.s throughout the five- year grant period.

$1 million will be awarded annually for the next five years, and the university has already collected this year’s grant money.”We received the grant around mid-September and are so excited about it,” Bryant said.

According to the press release, faculty and students are very pleased with the new plans for the grant money and the expansion of these academic programs.

“A research program of this magnitude signals a vote of confidence for FAMU and the work the Bryant administration has done to improve research administration,” said Vice President for Research Keith Jackson.

“Students are very excited by astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology,” said Charles Weatherford, a principal investigator for the CREST grant.

“Our ongoing upgrade of FAMU’s observatory to a remotely controllable robotic station has generated great student interest and participation,” Weatherford said.

As indicated by the press release, The Crest Center for Astrophysical Science and Technology is set to be built within FAMU’s premier Center for Plasma Science and Technology at Innovation Park.

The university has planned a special program for students and faculty in order to acknowledge the researchers involved in the CREST award.

This program is set to take place some time next month.