ALUMNUS Spring 2022 - Mississippi State University

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SEED FUNDING TAKES ROOT Early research support helps Mississippi State land long-term investments By James Carskadon, Portraits by Beth Wynn

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s an institution, Mississippi State University’s total research and development budgets top $280 million annually. Much of that funding comes in the form of large external grants that support specific efforts across the university, but researchers at MSU also are supported by seed funding. Usually less than $50,000, these internally administered grants are designed to take a faculty member’s research to another level, spark student interest, or fill an immediate need for stakeholders in Mississippi and beyond. Julie Jordan, MSU vice president for research and economic development, said while seven-figure grants and other large pieces of funding are critical for advancing university research, MSU’s internal funding programs serve a strategic need for supporting MSU’s mission. “In recent years, we’ve placed a renewed effort on doing everything we can to prepare faculty to go after the funding they need to support their research,” Jordan said. “A big part of that includes assisting faculty as they develop proposals and making strategic infrastructure investments. It also includes finding ways to kick-start an idea that has potential for a big impact. It has been exciting to see so many positive outcomes from smaller, internal research investments.” 28 sP R ING 2022