USD researchers benefit from state grant funds

USD researchers benefit from state grant funds
Twenty faculty members at South Dakota public universities will benefit from $442,425 in grants that Gov. Mike Rounds and the state has awarded to support their individual research projects.

� "This is the second year we have awarded ?seed grants' as part of a strategy to build competitive research at the public universities," said Gov. Rounds. "This program is an important step within the 2010 Initiative to increase research expectations and new opportunities on all of our campuses."

Grant recipients, the university department they work in and their research topic at The University of South Dakota are:


Kai Wang, Computer Science � "Enhance the Performance of ACTS by Processor Virtualization," and Yunkai Liu, Computer Science � "Haplotype Reconstruction and Decompositions in Diploid Species with the Perfect Phylogeny Model."

The governor's awards support faculty researchers as they develop research programs to become more competitive for external grants and contracts. It is also an opportunity for faculty members to develop ideas with commercial potential, Gov. Rounds said.

Targeted research at the public universities and its commercialization potential are part of Gov. Rounds' 2010 Initiative, which calls for the state to "become a recognized leader in research and technology development by 2010." The idea is to increase the role of university research in South Dakota's economic development by expanding academic research and exploiting new development opportunities arising from it.

The seed grants complement other strategies South Dakota is already pursuing to increase university-based research, such as the 2010 research centers and new doctoral programs in the sciences, engineering, and technology.

It is important to increase research expectations and opportunities for existing faculty too, said Regents' Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.

"Faculty need release time from teaching to pursue research work," Perry said. "These grants will pay for 25 percent of a faculty member's salary for one academic year, plus one summer month's salary."

Funding is matched by the faculty member's university, so the researcher earns 50 percent release time and two summer months of salary to do research, starting this fall. The award is intended to give the faculty member an opportunity to start a sustainable research program and to help build research capacity within their department.

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