Research & Sponsored Programs

Welcome to UWF Research and Sponsored Programs!

Faculty at the University of West Florida are active scholars and researchers. UWF values research because it enriches the learning environment of our students, provides solutions to problems in our region, and contributes to the well-being of our community.

Current Awards

August 2014 awards

08/06/2014 Dr. Michael Huggins, Professor of Chemistry, received $3,536 from Alancy LLC for the new project Alancy Master Service Agreement_003 Synthesis of Urea Derivatives. Dr. Michael Huggins will work with Dr. Alan Schrock, Alancy, LLC. to develop procedures to produce a series of polyesters from known diacids and diols. Condensation polymerization of 1kg batches of various diols and aliphatic diacids will be performed. The polyester polymers will be analyzed by NMR, DSC and other analytical methods to determine their molecular weights. Contact Dr. Huggins at 850-474-2741 or for more information.

08/11/2014 Dr. Jane M. Caffrey, Professor in Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation (CEDB), received $4,118 from the University of Southern Mississippi for the new project Water Quality in Bang's Lake: Effects of Recurrent Phosphate Spills to a Coastal Estuary. Two large phosphate spills have occurred from Mississippi Phosphate Corporation (a fertilizer production facility) to the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve's (GBNERR) Bangs Lake since 2005. Following these spills, phosphate concentrations in surface waters rose from near zero to as high as 7mg L-1 and pH dropped dramatically from an average of -7.5 to near 3.7. Less dramatic changes in phosphate concentrations and pH were measured at other regularly sampled stations nearby, and large fish kills also occurred throughout the Reserve. There is also evidence of potential continuous input of phosphate to Bangs Lake from smaller ongoing spills or dry deposition. These events and the obvious biological impacts to the waters of a protected NERR warrant further investigation. This proposal addresses four basic questions developed by the Phosphate Working Group to assess the water quality impacts of repeated phosphate spills on an otherwise relatively undisturbed estuarine ecosystem. (1) What is the fate of phosphorus after a spill (Where does it go)? (2) Is there a detectable preserved sedimentary record of past phosphorus spills? (3) Is there a biological fertilizer effect on microalgal production? (4) Is dry deposition of gypsum particles from the fertilizer plant a source of phosphorus to the Reserve? The proposed research project addresses the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute's Water Quality research priority area. This project will train six undergraduate students to collect and analyze environmental samples and conduct pertinent experiments using established methods to learn about chemical and biological processes that occur in coastal ecosystems. A graduate student from the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Lab with field and laboratory experience using these methods will be trained to coordinate and oversee much of the work conducted by the summer interns. Contact Dr. Caffrey at 850-857-6089 or for more information.

08/15/2014 Dr. Douglas Trelfa, Director of Japan Center, received $30,000 from the Japan Foundation New York for the new project UWF Japanese Language Salary Assistance Program. This project will fund salary assistance for a Japanese Language instructor to assist in promoting instruction in the Japanese language and culture. Contact Dr. Trelfa at 850-474-3108 or for more information.

08/20/2014 Dr. Steven J. Kass, Professor of Center for Applied Psychology (CAP) in Psychology, received an additional $290,215 from the US Department of Education for the existing project Race to the Top FLDOE developed Student Growth Models for Hard-to-Measure Course Content Areas (Physical Education, Art, Music). In 2010, Florida's State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) developed by educators and sponsored by the National Governors Association to establish national standards for academic performance in a number of core content areas, including English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Science, and other Technical Subjects. Since that time, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has begun both implementing and assessing academic performance in a number of content areas that have universally accepted methods of assessment. However, for other "hard-to-measure" content areas, including Physical Education, Music, and Art, no universally accepted methods of assessment are available. Consequently, the purpose of the proposed investigation will be to 1) provide the FDOE with a description of the assessment methods and models currently being used throughout the United States to assess student growth in Physical Education, Music, and Art, 2) identify and summarize relevant literature regarding which assessment strategies are best at measuring student growth in these disciplines, and 3) provide recommendations regarding which assessment models should be examined psychometrically. Contact Dr. Kass at 850-474-2107 or for more information.

08/21/2014 Dr. Samuel R. Mathews II, Research Professor/PI of Center for Applied Psychology (CAP) in the Psychology, received $56,716 from the National Institutes of Health to continue the project Health Impact of Deepwater Horizon Spill in Eastern Gulf Coast Communities: Developing Effective Strategies for Community-Based Outreach and Dissemination Year 4. The goals and core tasks of the CODC outreach core are focused on (1) identifying through research and then matching critical resources with needs of individuals, families, communities, and small businesses in the western Florida Panhandle and the Alabama coastline impacted by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster; (2 synthesizing the research findings of consortium PIs and translating these through open public channels of communication that foster two-way dialogue and consensus building; and (3) extending the CODC outreach framework model as a social learning platform designed to mitigate losses and increase the needs and characteristics of the target population; coordinating the translation of relevant information into knowledge suitable to enhancing the preparedness and resiliency of the target population; and strengthening and developing societal structures that empower communities to mitigate losses and increase resiliency to both natural and human initiated disasters. The project team plans to leverage already existing resources and community based resiliency efforts that stem from local responses to the hurricanes that hit Florida, Alabama and Mississippi in 2004. Project efforts will begin with existing and longstanding relationships with NGOs, state and local agencies, faith-based organizations, and other community groups. As partners in the CODC, and members of the Community Advisory Committee and local community Task Forces, individuals from these agencies and organizations will assist in identifying resource needs and gaps; participate in a year one regional forum to share research findings and provide input to developing a strategic plan of action for the outreach core; work with core staff to develop collaborative approaches to materials dissemination and professional training and development and partner on developing a quick response identification and referral network. Contact Dr. Mathews at 850-474-2033 or for more information.

08/29/2014 Dr. Kim Leduff, Chief Diversity Officer/AVP of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and International Affairs, received an additional $292,193 from the US Department of Education for the project Student Support Services TRIO 2010-2015. This project provides supplemental instruction, mentorship, and enhancement to eligible students under the US ED Student Support Services TRIO program. Contact Dr. Leduff at 850-474-2600 or for more information.

Award Archive

UWF chemistry faculty receive $930k National Institute of Health Grant

Research Spotlight

UWF chemistry faculty receive $930k National Institute of Health Grant

The University of West Florida was recently selected to receive a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant totaling approximately $930,000, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Karen Molek, assistant professor and director of Chemistry Scholars, and Dr. Michael Huggins, professor and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The award money will be distributed over the next five years.

UWF was awarded the Maximizing Access to Research Career Programs through Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research, or MARC U-STAR, grant to provide support for underrepresented undergraduate students pursuing PhD or MD/PhD degrees in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Learn more

New Feature: RSP Issues Weekly Funding Announcement Lists

Did you know that RSP now provides a weekly list of upcoming funding opportunities? Each week, our website is updated to include an easy-to-read list of new grant announcements. The key words provided with each announcement make finding your perfect opportunity easy, and the list contains direct links to all opportunities.

You can subscribe to receive the updated list each week or you can view the latest list, and archives, at anytime by visiting RSP's External Funding webpage.

Graduate Student Research Award Applications Now Available

The Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee (SCAC) is pleased to announce the competition for Graduate Student Scholarly and Creative Activity Grants for the Fall 2014 semester. Graduate students in good standing may now submit applications for independent projects, conference travel or research required for degree completion. Grants of up to $1,000 may be given.

Guidelines and application forms are available now online. The application deadline is 5:00 P.M., CST, October 3, 2014. Proposals not meeting formatting requirements or that are received after the deadline will be ineligible to compete for an award. Questions should be directed to Research and Sponsored Programs at 857-6378,, or visit us in Building 11, Room 110.