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EPSCoR Division Awards $792K in Research Seed Grants to Arkansas Universities

 November 12, 2021

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC)’s EPSCoR Division has awarded its first round of research seed grants through Data Analytics that are Robust and Trusted (DART), the current Track-1 project. A total of ten projects were awarded to seven colleges and universities for a total of approximately $792,000. AEDC plans to host three additional rounds of this program over the next three years, and has budgeted a total of $1.75M over the five-year project to support this effort, which is the maximum amount allowed in the budget by the National Science Foundation. AEDC anticipates announcing the next request for proposals in Spring of 2022.

The DART Seed Grant Program invites scientists throughout Arkansas to identify emerging or transformative areas of research that are in alignment with the scientific focus of DART and support one or more of the DART goals. Successful projects should strengthen ties to Arkansas business, enhance our talent pool by expanding or leveraging research collaborations, or provide unique educational or training opportunities.

Awards are given for projects under $100,000 over a 1- or 2-year period, and can be used to cover the costs of research such as travel, training, equipment usage fees, consumables, and software licenses to support remote data analysis. To promote training and professional development, preference is given to proposals from postdoctoral associates, early career faculty, and tenure-track faculty.

The full list of projects awarded during the first round includes:

  • $99,760 awarded to Arkansas Tech University for the project “Development of Interdisciplinary Research Collaborative to Provide Datasets in Support of Education Research in Data Science.”
  • $89,195 awarded to Arkansas State University for the project “AgAdapt: An evolutionarily-informed algorithm for genomic prediction of crop performance in novel environments.”
  • $92,298 awarded to Philander Smith College for the project “Generating Big Radiogenomic Data of Cancer Using Deepfake Learning Approach.”
  • $40,878 awarded to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for the project “Machine Learning for Predicting Refugee Counts.”
  • The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences was awarded $55,696 for the project “Geospatial Data Science in Public Health: Inter-institutional educational collaboration to enhance data science curriculum in Arkansas,” and awarded $97,608 for the project “Piloting Big Data Science in Arkansas Middle School Classrooms.”
  • The University of Arkansas Fayetteville was awarded $98,927 for the project “Interpretable Multimodal Fusion Networks for Fault Detection and Diagnostics of Two-Phase Cooling Under Transient Heat Loads,” $99,921 for the project “Toward fair and reliable consumer acceptability prediction from food appearance,” and $89,918 for the project “Machine Learning-based emulation and prediction in ensembles in disordered photocatalytic composites.”
  • $27,948 was awarded to the University of Central Arkansas for the project “Crying Out Data Science in the Center of Arkansas: Invitation for High School Students to the World of Data Science.”

We look forward to sharing updates as the projects progress. Stay in touch by following us on social media @arEPSCoR.

For more information about the seed grant program, please visit the program page: https://www.arkansasedc.com/science-technology/division/data-analytics-that-are-robust-trusted-(dart)/seed-grants

For more information about the DART project, please visit the DART Website at www.dartproject.org.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. OIA-1946391.