ETSU reports record $70.4 million in sponsored program and research funding

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, December 26, 2023

JOHNSON CITY – From research in rural health to work in the booming field of biotechnology, East Tennessee State University aims to generate scholarship that has a real-world impact both in the region and beyond.
And in the last fiscal year, ETSU earned an impressive $70.4 million in external awards. That funding goes toward pushing major advancements in a range of diverse fields.
“ETSU is certainly known for the immense and engaging hands-on learning experiences we offer our students with a goal of helping them move from enrolled to employed,” said Dr. Kimberly D. McCorkle, ETSU provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “We are also producing high quality research that is making a positive impact on our region and the world, and the more than $70 million in external funding validates that reality.”
Funded projects this year have helped advance projects crafted to enhance educational opportunities, health and wellness, the economic landscape and more.
ETSU also recorded 124 faculty members from across the colleges as principal investigators on external awards. Such a role is significant, meaning that these ETSU faculty are playing a key leadership role, shaping the vision and direction of various projects.
“These investments, often from highly competitive federal funding agencies, make plain that ETSU is a place where cutting-edge research is occurring,” said Dr. Nick Hagemeier, vice provost for Research and Chief Research Officer at ETSU, who was named to a prestigious research fellowship program earlier this year. “Our faculty engage in meaningful, impactful, scholarly work, demonstrating creativity and the ability to change and transform with ever-evolving technology. That is certainly what you want to see from a research university.”
It isn’t just professors crafting important scholarship. Students are engaging, too.
Earlier this semester, graduate students dazzled in a research competition. First-place winner, Jessa Leigh Aldridge, is producing work that could help children who suffer from Dravet Syndrome, a rare but serious form of epilepsy.
Undergraduate students likewise have considerable opportunities to work with faculty on research.
The Dr. Jay W. Boland Undergraduate Research Symposium, held each spring, fosters discussion and collaboration in a variety of fields that span the hard sciences, business and technology and more.
“ETSU has prepared me for my future in many different ways, including the opportunity to do undergraduate research and engage with mentors who have done this before and know how important research is,” said Olivia Campbell, a former ETSU student now studying multilingual education at Vanderbilt University.

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