CSUN has received considerable funding for research and sponsored projects in a wide variety of STEM-related fields since the 2010/2011 academic year. Nearly $100 million has been awarded to University faculty and staff for various projects in these fields, ranging from academic research, scholarships, and training to community service and engagement activities. The Department of Biology led the way in terms of funding ($21.1 million) during this time period, followed by the Departments of Physics ($14.0 million) and Educational Psychology and Counseling ($13.8 million).
CSUN’s commitment to the sciences makes it an attractive destination for those seeking careers in science-related fields. In fact, CSUN is one of only 18 universities in the country that participates in the MARC U-STAR program, which has a rich history of preparing students for Ph.D. programs in basic biomedical and behavioral sciences.5 This program has received nearly $3 million in funding since the 2010/2011 academic year, allowing the University to offer an array of research training grants and fellowships for honors undergraduates in their third and fourth years. The Department of Biology has also received a similar amount of funding for the Minority Biomedical Research Support program to develop minority students, faculty, and institutional involvement in biomedical research. This program provides support for faculty research projects, scientific equipment, facility renovations, and the release of faculty from teaching to conduct biomedical research.
CSUN has also been recognized for its educational outreach and teaching in the sciences. Gagik Melikyan, Professor of Chemistry, was recently awarded the Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. Nominated by students they once taught, this award recognizes educators by spotlighting their impact on the lives of students.6
The demand for trained professionals in science-related fields is acute in California and across the United States, as evidenced by the 5.7 million job openings in these fields as recently as 2013.7 By providing the intense academic instruction and training necessary to enter these critical but highly challenging professions, CSUN delivers an enormous social benefit to those seeking these careers and to the nation as a whole. The long-term health and development of nearly all communities, big and small, are connected to continued advancements in science and technology.
2 Richard W. Moore, Kenneth Chapman, Bettina Huber, and Mark Shors, “Yes, But Can They Earn a Living? Methods for Creating an Effective System of Measuring Labor Market Outcomes in Higher Education. University of California, Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education, April 2013.
3 “CSUN President Reappointed to Higher Education Commission.” CSUN Today. July 14, 2015.
4 “CSUN President Recognized for Trailblazing Impact.” CSUN Today. May 6, 2015.
5 “Feds Award CSUN $1.1 Million for Science Programs”, CSUN Today, November 12, 2014.