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The Grant Spotlight


Two Groups of UNC Researchers Receive
National Science Foundation MRI Awards

Through Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grants, the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides opportunities for institutions to acquire instrumentation that supports research and research training. Two groups of UNC researchers submitted MRI proposals in January 2014; and of the 811 proposals reviewed by NSF in that competition, they were two of the 205 to be awarded.

Robert Houser, principal investigator, and Robin Macaluso and Michael Mosher, co-principal investigators, in UNC's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, received an award to purchase a single-crystal X-ray diffractometer (XRD) to be housed in a dedicated room in Ross Hall. It will allow the three UNC investigators to advance the efforts of their research laboratories; and will also be used to support the work of two collaborating investigators, one from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and one from the Colorado School of Mines. The XRD will allow for research and educational experiences for undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral research fellows, and high school teachers and students, many of whom will be trained to gain hands-on experience with crystallography.

A second MRI award was received by principal investigator, Seth Frietze in Biological Sciences, and co-principal investigators, Mehrgan Mostowfi, Mathematical Sciences; David Hydock, Sport and Exercise Science; and Wendilyn Flynn and David Learch, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The acquisition of a High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster, to be housed in the Carter Hall Datacenter, will enable scientific progress for these and other UNC investigators whose ongoing research has been hampered by the lack of large-scale modern computational resources. With access to the HPC cluster, faculty will be able to provide more students with meaningful quantitative research experiences; and the integration of faculty research with science education will be maximized.

Read more about the research and training that will be made possible through these grants from the National Science Foundation: