May 14, 2024

NDSU and UND collaborative research projects announced


Five research projects based in North Dakota have been awarded grants through the University Research Collaboration Program, funded by the Economic Diversification Research Funds appropriated during the 2023 North Dakota Legislative session.

The URCP funds Level 1 proposals up to $25,000 of the combined total budget and Level 2 proposals up to $50,000.

For FY2025, $200,000 was made available for the program. The program requires projects to foster research collaboration across institutions in activities such as data collection, materials, experimental or instrumentation needs. Projects were also required to have collaborators at both of the state’s research universities, NDSU and UND, in addition to faculty or students from a third institution in the state, such as a predominantly undergraduate institution, a polytechnic institution or a Tribal college or university. The two research universities contributed funds equally, but the third partnering institution was not required to provide funding.

The purposes of the EDRF funds include stimulating economic activity across the state through new technology, concepts and products as well as promoting job creation and career and wage growth while providing experiential learning opportunities for students.

Casey Ryan serves on the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education and chairs its Research and Governance Committee. He believes the collaborative nature of the program sets a positive example moving forward.

"This program is an innovative way to enlist some of the best minds in our state on research projects that will be transformative for the state," Ryan said. “We appreciate the research stewardship that the North Dakota Legislature has made with this investment, and I am excited to learn about the results of our North Dakota researchers' work."

The URCP was designed by the vice presidents for research at NDSU and UND to promote and foster collaborations that reflect the broad portfolio of institutions in North Dakota in a way that fuels existing research priorities and investments.

“Funded projects led by UND represent collaborations which align well with our research priorities, particularly our Grand Challenges in energy and sustainability and human health,” said Scott Snyder, UND vice president for research & economic development. “Building on existing strengths will generate results that drive current knowledge forward. I am very excited about these collaborations."

NDSU Vice President for Research and Creative Activity Colleen Fitzgerald agreed with Snyder.

"Leveraging our key strategic priority areas to spark big ideas has been our focus with this program, so it will, in turn, generate new research funds coming into the state,” Fitzgerald said. “These projects reflect NDSU's expertise and key priorities in life and computational sciences. This initiative enables us to work collectively to advance the state to create impact and for both NDSU and UND to advance campus priorities."

"It is rewarding to see the range of projects that result from a collaborative call such as this," said Mark Hagerott, chancellor for the North Dakota University System. "The leadership shown by North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota in driving these projects is an example of the excellence that real collaboration can deliver."

"Our institutions are answering a call made by the North Dakota Legislature to help solve big problems while growing workforce," said NDSU President David Cook. "This fits in our mission as North Dakota's land grant institution of delivering value across the state and beyond."

UND President Andrew Armacost said, "Through this funding, university research can certainly help diversify the economy in the state of North Dakota. Strong college and university research activity provides the critical foundation in every high-tech area of economic development — especially at the leading edge of technology.”

Funded projects also may be required to provide monthly summaries of project progress. Additional annual reporting deadlines could be aligned with SBHE approved timelines, currently under consideration.

A second call for URCP-funded proposals is currently underway, with a deadline of June 5, 2024.

URCP Level 1 Proposals

  • UND, NDSU, and United Tribes Technical College: "Electrocatalyst Development for Oxygen Evolution from Water Splitting" (N. Oncel, R. Kirshna Hona, D. Kilin, A. Azure)
  • UND, NDSU, Valley City State University, and Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College: "Carbon Quantum Dots from Kraft Lignin: Novel Bacterial Antidote?" (M. Goriacheva, U. Burghaus, S. Eliazer, H. van Gijssel, A. LaVallie)

URCP Level 2 Proposals

  • UND, NDSU, and Dickinson State University: "Ammines for Energy Storage and Ammonia Production Enhancement" (J. van der Watt, A Mohammed, A. Gladen, J. Hewage)
  • NDSU, UND, and Mayville State University: "Examining the Role of a Honey-Pomegranate Supplement on Muscle Health in Older Adults" (R. McGrath, Y. Rhee, M Berg, S Paessler, D Jurivich, C. Smith, T. Gonnella)
  • NDSU, UND, and Cankdeska Cikana Community College: "A 3D printed scaffold sensor using novel functionalized 2D MXene for advanced stage cancer monitoring" (D. Wang, K. Katti, J. Zhao, N. Bittner)
Categories: Research, Awards
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