NORMAN, OKLA. – Ten research projects led by University of Oklahoma researchers will receive funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The recipients were selected from 72 proposals submitted in one week.
As specified in the call for proposals, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships on the OU Norman campus is funding these Rapid Response Research Seed Grants for short-term projects that position OU faculty and their collaborators to effectively compete for significant external funding opportunities related to COVID-19 prevention, mitigation, diagnosis, treatment, social factors and disparities, risk assessment and decision-making, and societal impacts.
“Leading through a crisis requires managing the present while also taking the long view and anticipating what comes next,” said OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia. “This crisis is happening now, so the research we are supporting has the potential for significant impact on the pandemic now, but will also prepare our faculty to compete for future external research funding opportunities. We are thrilled at the number of researchers who wish to contribute their scholarship to fight COVID-19 during this time.”
The work being carried out for these grants is being conducted in close partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research at the OU Health Sciences Center, and multiple OUHSC scientists are co-principal investigators on several of the grants.
“The selection committee looked for research teams who provided compelling ideas, approaches and solutions to address current issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships Ann West. “Each research project awarded is designed to turn around results within four to six months, and engaging students – both undergraduate and graduate – was highly encouraged. In addition to striving for immediate impact on the pandemic, another objective of the seed-grant program is to position OU researchers to generate new proposals in the near-term for significant external funding from federal agencies.”
West said proposals were broadly categorized as addressing issues related to the pandemic in technology development and advanced manufacturing; biomedical and antiviral development; societal impacts, including education and social or psychological factors; and public health, including community response.