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With Rising Research Numbers, Tech Focused On Growing Reputation

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
With Rising Research Numbers, Tech Focused On Growing Reputation

New Tennessee Tech Vice President for Research John Liu said the goal of his department is to make Tech a leading research university.

Tech research funding requests have grown from $49.3 million in 2019 to $106 million last year. Liu said research proposals are on the rise across all departments.

“As a technology university, we are prepared to become one of the leading forces in creating technology and also to produce the next generation of societal leaders,” Liu said.

He said research projects provide students with hands on experience in their field. Liu said the funding for STEM is the highest among academic subjects.

“Funding is not available in equitable fashion for all research areas,” Liu said. “STEM areas are better funded than non-STEM. For instance, arts or liberal arts or fine arts or social sciences these have some level of funding, but the funding levels for those areas are much lower. STEM areas funding availability is much greater out there.”

Liu said the projects are funded by grants and the university. Liu said they are also focused on seed funding to help increase their chances to get grants and funding.

“To increase research, we need greater efforts from faculty,” Liu said. “In particularly, increase the proportion of faculty who are actually seeking experimental funding.”

“It’s difficult to obtain grants if you do not have any preliminary data. So, you need to have data to show what you want to do and it’s feasible to do such research. We use that small seed funding to produce that preliminary data. Once we have that preliminary data, we can show to the university look, here is a nice idea, and I already have this preliminary data.”

Liu said the university then uses this information to decide if they want to fund the research. Liu said this research often help the community and helps create work-ready graduates.


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