CMU sets $26.3M grant funding record

University bests previous high by more than $5M

| Author: Logan Pellegrom

Central Michigan University reached a new milestone in grantsmanship during the 2021-22 fiscal year, earning $26.3 million in grants and contracts. The figure surpassed CMU’s previous record of $20.8 million secured during 2010-11.

The record total is the result of 194 grants and contracts, the most earned since 2018-19. Of those, seven were more than $1 million, and 17 more valued at $250,000 or more.

“This is an important milestone in the evolution of CMU as a comprehensive national university where both teaching and research are valued and celebrated,” said David Weindorf, vice president for research and innovation at CMU.

Weindorf credits hard work by faculty and staff, a focus on high-value grant opportunities, and new partnerships with other universities and institutions as several of the factors for the improved results.

The College of Medicine and the College of Science and Engineering led the university in funds raised, but faculty from many academic disciplines also brought in strong awards, said Weindorf. Some notable grants received during the year include:

  • Semi-Synthetic, Magneto-Photonic Circuit for Non-Invasive Control
    • The grant funds the study in which researchers propose to develop a new genetic tool based on synthetic biology by harnessing the power of electromagnetism and biophotonics to control gene expression within cells remotely, on demand, and with the utmost temporal and spatial resolution. Those tools are crucial for basic research, drug development and developing the next generation of synthetic biology-based therapeutics.
    • Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Health and Human Services
    • Research led by Ute Hochgeschwender, College of Medicine
  • FLO-SIC: Efficient Density Functional Calculations Without Self-Interaction
    • This grant is a combined effort from five universities, and led by CMU, that aims to develop the theory and improve state-of-the-art computational software for the prediction of atomic-scale matter.
    • Funded by the US Department of Energy
    • Research led by Koblar Jackson and Juan Peralta, College of Science and Engineering
  • DeafBlind Central: Michigan's Training and Resource Project Year 4
    • The project provides training, consultation, information and referrals, and engages in systems change activities all designed to improve the lives of children and young adults who are deafblind.
    • Funded by the US Department of Education
    • Project led by Timothy Hartshorne and Beth Kennedy, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Early Childhood Collaborative with EightCap, Inc. 2022
    • The grant provides quality preschool to 3- and 4-year-old children at no cost to families who qualify by being low income.
    • Funded by EightCap, Inc. and the US Department of Health and Human Services
    • Research led by Margaret Desormes, College of Education and Human Services
  • Albertine Cinematheque French Film Grant
    • The grant funds the inclusion of six French films during the five-day Central Michigan International Film Festival.
    • Funded by FACE Foundation
    • Work is led by Patricia Williamson, College of the Arts and Media
  • CMU-TRIO Upward Bound Northwest Detroit 2021-22
    • Since 1999, the Upward Bound grant has served over 1000 students providing college accessing programming for first-generation college students in the City of Detroit. The project has a 96% high school graduation rate with students going on to pursue two and four year college degrees.
    • Funded by the US Department of Education
    • Research led by Primavera Jimenez, TRIO Detroit Pre-College Programs


Many of the grants received included funding for graduate assistantships and student technicians, providing opportunities for hands-on learning with leading experts.

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