On August 5, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research at Georgia Tech awarded a first round of grants meant to assist in the formation and advancement of cross-disciplinary research teams.
The grants come in response to shifting trends in national research and funding priorities. Major funding agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF) are increasing their support for large-scale, team-based projects, according to Georgia Tech faculty members Robert Butera and Devesh Ranjan. Successful proposals for these projects often rely on integrating expertise from across disparate areas, including engineering, science, liberal arts, design, and business.
“A lot of cutting-edge science requires a team approach,” said Butera, who is also vice president for research development and operations.
Academic research faculty have historically worked within a narrower scope, according to Butera. In particular, newer research programs have tended to be focused within one single discipline, with no more than one or two different faculty members involved.
Far larger projects are becoming more common. One example is a $21.9 million DARPA-funded effort led by Phil Santangelo, professor of biomedical engineering, which seeks to develop gene-based therapeutics for flu and other viruses, including Covid-19. That project directly involves vaccine manufacturers and a broad range of other collaborators.
“That’s a really huge research project,” said Butera. “That’s a level of project management complexity and proposal development that faculty are [traditionally] not prepared for.”
Continue reading at: Georgia Tech Research Horizons