Florida A&M University celebrates anniversary and record research funding

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At 134, Florida A&M University (FAMU) is raking in record amounts of research funding. FAMU is ranked among the top 10 historically black colleges and universities.

Amid a two-year funding boom, FAMU recently received its biggest grant ever: a $ 30 million award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The money will be used to support the Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems (CCME) and its mission to train the next generation of scientists from under-represented groups.

“50% of this $ 30 million will have to be spent on direct student support,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson. He heads the CCME, which is made up of half a dozen universities that share the 5-year grant. FAMU is the center’s lead institution.

“The focus is on people from underrepresented minority communities and their undergraduate and graduate training in STEM disciplines and the social sciences related to NOAA,” says Robinson, “but also ensuring what we were leaving NOAA and other places they go. more diverse.

This new funding agreement extends and modifies the objectives of NOAA’s original five-year award that began in 2016.

“In the first five years, we were able to recruit over 113 students through this program,” says Robinson. “About half of them are undergraduates and the rest are masters or doctoral students. ”

The main fields of study include computer science and environmental sciences with a concentration in marine sciences. Robinson says the center focuses on three areas that align with NOAA’s priorities: place-based conservation, coastal resilience and coastal intelligence.

“We are here to address the issues associated with these thematic areas – but educating and training a new generation of scientists, especially from under-represented minority communities, in these areas,” said Robinson. “So that’s really what makes me excited about this opportunity.”

Grant money will help pay for student travel expenses for lectures, tuition, and living expenses for graduate students who will spend several months working at a NOAA-related institution.

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