ARLINGTON and RICHARDSON, Texas (April 12, 2006) – When the presidents of The University of Texas at Dallas and The University of Texas at Arlington swapped jobs for a day last fall, the two leaders promised a new era of cooperation and solidarity between the sister institutions. One of the first tangible results of that pledge emerged this week as 12 projects involving faculty and researchers at both universities received grants from a newly created Presidential Joint Research Seed Funding Program.
The $250,000 fund was created by $125,000 contributions from Presidents James Spaniolo of UT Arlington and David Daniel of UTD. Its purpose is to foster collaborative efforts between the faculties of both universities, and provide a catalyst for seeking additional federal research funds.
Twelve projects were selected for funding from 32 proposals submitted by 76 faculty members from both institutions, said Dr. Da Hsuan Feng, vice president for research and economic development at UTD. The proposals were evaluated and ranked by a panel of 10 faculty members – five from each university – who were not associated with any of the projects, Feng said.
“We were delighted with both the number and quality of research proposals presented for funding,” Feng said. “It’s an indication that the desire for more interaction between the two institutions is not limited to the presidents, but is shared by many of the faculty and staff as well.”
The 12 projects selected garnered nearly $240,000 in funding, according to Dr. Ronald Elsenbaumer, vice president for research at UT Arlington.
“While the grants were limited to no more than $20,000 each, we view this funding as ‘seed money’ that will enable promising research to get underway, to demonstrate results and to attract additional monies from other sources,” Elsenbaumer said.
Funding will begin April 15 and continue for one year.
The projects selected for funding represent a number of fields of study, Elsenbaumer said. The largest number, five, involve the biological and life sciences, while four are in engineering and one each in the physical sciences, liberal arts and business. Each project includes at least one investigator from each institution.
Among the research to be conducted are studies involving sickle cell anemia, neurodegeneration, cancer therapeutics, microelectronic devices and wireless sensors. Additional information about the projects is available at http://www.utdallas.edu/research/collaboration.html.
While the new funding program will increase collaboration between the two universities, UTD and UT Arlington were already working together. The two institutions partner in a significant number of research and teaching areas, including nanotechnology, computer science, brain imaging, art and photography, robotics and electrical engineering, among others. The schools also participate together in joint distance-learning degree programs facilitated through the U. T. Telecampus.
Both relatively new in their positions at the time, Daniel and Spaniolo switched jobs for a day on September 20 to learn more about the other’s university and as a symbolic gesture of mutual respect and cooperation between the leaders and their schools. They also sought to put an end to a rivalry between the two schools that was spirited and, at times, acrimonious.
At the time, both men pledged to work together for the benefit of the Metroplex and the entire state.
About UT Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive teaching, research and public service institution located in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Its state-of-the-art research facilities, strategic location and innovative student employment programs enhance its partnership with area businesses and industry. UT Arlington, a member of the UT System, has more that 25,000 students from 150 countries and offers 81 baccalaureate, 73 masters and 35 doctoral degrees within nine academic units and a graduate school.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls nearly 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.