2021 – 2022 Research Annual Report
From The Vice President Of Research
UCF researchers have been helping solve local, national, and international problems and enriching our human experience since the universityís inception.
It was a three-time UCF graduate who helped create one of the vaccines against COVID. And while UCF didnít fly aboard the rocket that took the first non-astronauts into space, our scientists and engineers are working with commercial companies and government agencies to pioneer the tools we need to make sure we can travel safely and eventually live on other planets.
In the 2020-2021 Office of Research Annual Report, you will find 2020 statistics broken down in all sorts of ways and data from fiscal 2021. You also will read about some inspiring research thatís changing the world.
What you wonít find is how the Office of Research facilitates faculty and student research. This includes research administration ñ the process needed to submit proposals and, when awarded, the process for setting up grants and contracts to fund projects (and making sure we actually get paid for our work). It also includes ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. My office also finds ways to fund needs, such as big equipment, that will enhance our research enterprise. We work with lawyers, IP experts, and contract specialists to ensure researchers can pursue their passions, wherever those might take them. We also provide faculty and leadership recommendations for policies and areas of opportunity for further advancement.
Vice President for the Office of Research
Dean of the College
As we look to become Americaís leading public metropolitan research university, I want to take a moment to share how far weíve come since I arrived five years ago.
- Revamped the entire research administration process and made it digital through Project Wahoo. A few pieces are still missing and we still do not have a seamless system. Missing pieces are being added, and interfaces with university systems will be in place when the Knight Vision project concludes in a few years.
- Created new funding opportunities including launching UCFís first larger-scale SEED funding program with support from the Provost Office. Approximately $1 million was available in AY 2019-2020 and again in AY 2020-2021, and a new call for proposals will be announced before the end of the year for round 3. Equipment funds were also made available, with these requiring a match from the departments or colleges.
- Reorganized and enhanced support to faculty through our Research Development team.
- Created the Office of Research Faculty Fellow position to find ways to improve services provided in research administration. The fellow has advised us and helped create programs to support faculty conducting research, many of them focused on individual career awards.
- Aligned research compliance, export control, IRB, IACUC, and other units to provide better service and monitoring.
- Launched the Departmental Administration Research Focus (DARF) group to better collaborate and communicate with research administrators across campus, especially as we looked to implement new policies.
- Created teams and programs in OR to help faculty work on large proposals, and to support some faculty as they worked on them. One success to share: a record 12 NSF CAREER awards in 2020.
- Centralized UCFís Microfabrication, Mechanical Manufacturing and Physical Science Cryogenic NMR Facilities in Office of Research-supported shared facilities overseen by a faculty committee.
- Developed a PI Handbook for Proposals and Awards and began annual reports, which had been discontinued before my arrival.
- Established a Communications Team, which placed more than 7,670 research stories in the media from 2018-2020, many of them in nationally known and recognized outlets.
- Established bi-weekly meetings with associate deans of research; together weíve tackled several challenges including a response to the pandemic that, for the most part, kept research labs operating while minimizing risk.
- Increased grants and contract awards from $148.8 million in fiscal year 2016 to $212 million in fiscal year 2021, despite a worldwide pandemic, government shutdowns, and various other local and national obstacles.
- Launched a website portal to share research information and promote interdisciplinary collaboration with the support of the Provost Office.
- Expanded the research cyberinfrastructure at UCF to support research faculty with increased access to consultation, software, and big data resources, as well as working to improve the security of our research data.
All these changes could not have been possible without a team of more than 100 unsung heroes in my office and your colleges who support research administration operations every day. I wanted to give them a shout-out for helping us continue to progress toward greatness. They play a pivotal role in the successes we share in this report.
Together we have all achieved much, and we are primed for even greater success.
Vice President for the Office of Research
Dean of the College of Graduate Studies
The Office of Research and the College of Graduate Studies Communication Team compiled the 2020-2021 Annual Research Report.
The team works directly with researchers across campus and college communicators to share stories with our campus community and to the outside world through the press.
Your 2019-2020 ORGS Team
Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala
We want to thank all the faculty, student researchers, and support
staff who reached out to us with great story tips this year. If you
have a story tip, please send it to Research@ucf.edu.
A special thanks to our colleagues across campus for helping us share our collective research success throughout the year.
Burnett Honors College
Padmini Coopamah Waldron
College of Arts and Humanities
College of Community Innovation and Education
College of Graduate Studies
College of Medicine
College of Nursing
College of Undergraduate Studies
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