Academic research and scholarly activity at Eastern Michigan University grows 63% over the last decade, 20% year-over-year

COE dean Ryan Gildersleeve at a press event for Toyota's new STEM Institute at EMU
Toyota’s Driving Possibilities initiative is one example of EMU's growing research and scholarly activity. As a result, EMU’s College of Education will help prepare youth for in-demand STEM careers. (EMU file photo)

YPSILANTI —  Eastern Michigan University’s emphasis on growing academic research and scholarly activity is opening the doors to a greater level of research activity among the University’s faculty. In a recent report to the University’s Board of Regents, Dr. Steven Pernecky, associate vice president for graduate studies and research, highlighted the most recent data measuring the University’s research activity.

According to the report, research activity sponsored by outside organizations grew 63% from 2013-2023, from $10.9 million to $17.8 million. From 2022 to 2023, externally- funded research grew 20%, from $14.8 million to $17.8 million. The University also increased the number of sponsored research awards from 110 in 2022 to 127 in 2023. These include awards from federal agencies, the state of Michigan, other colleges and universities, business and industry partners, foundations, and local governments, non-profit organizations and state agencies outside of Michigan. 

The University’s growth as a research institution was evidenced through its 2016 classification by Carnegie as a Research 2 (R2) institution. Out of the 3,939 institutions that are recognized by Carnegie, 279 have either a Very High (R1; greater than $50M annually spent on research) or High (R2; greater than $5M spent on research) classification, placing Eastern in the top 7%.

Recent research awards of significance include the following: 

  • $8,900,000, Toyota USA Foundation: Eastern Michigan University is establishing the EMU Institute for STEM Education, Outreach, and Workforce Development. Under a five-year commitment, Eastern Michigan will work with area partners in the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. There are three primary objectives for the new STEM institute: 1) Promote STEM awareness across the communities served by Lincoln Consolidated School District (LCS) and Ypsilanti Community School District (YCS). 2) Develop vertically integrated STEM curricula throughout K-12. Establish stackable STEM credentials, leading to industry-recognized CTE certificates and STEM degrees. 3) The Institute aims to contribute to the community’s STEM resources by coordinating activities that build community knowledge and strengthen STEM outcomes in education and workforce development.
  • $1,410,608, National Institutes of Health: Research on Community Level Interventions for Firearm and Related Violence, Injury and Mortality Prevention. The five-year research project, under the direction of Professor Tsu-Yin Wu, School of Nursing (lead investigator), and Associate Professor Xining Yang, Geography and Geology (co-investigator), identifies community-level resources to understand the intersectionality and contexts between multi-level risks and protective factors related to firearm violence. The project will employ mixed methods and participatory action approach that includes photovoice and GIS to investigate these risks and protective factors with a long-term aim of preventing injury and mortality by developing an evidence-based effective intervention that prevents firearm violence among Asian Americans.
  • $168,562, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Tapestry: Weaving Together Past, Present and Future program: Eastern Michigan University, in partnership with Michigan State and Wayne State University, will create and deliver a new two-week, residential summer institute entitled, “Democracy and Education: A View from Detroit.” The project director is EMU Assistant Professor Dr. Matthew Kautz, Leadership and Counseling. Through a combination of scholarly presentations, conversations with movement veterans, collaboration with local artists, students, and parents, walking tours, and exploration of the unique archival collections at Wayne State’s Walter P. Reuther Library, 25 middle and high school educators (grades 6-12) will explore Black Detroiters’ long struggle for access to and equity in education from the 1860s into the present. The institute will take place in downtown Detroit at Wayne State’s Reuther Library and Michigan State University’s Detroit Center with walking tours in Detroit’s historic Black Bottom and Old Westside neighborhoods.
  • $164,415, National Science Foundation: Collaborative Research: The Plurality of Police Oversight: A Multi-Sited Ethnography of Democracy, Race, and Power. The three-year effort is led by Professor Kevin Karpiak, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology. Recent narratives have called for increasing civilian oversight of police departments as one approach to reducing racialized police violence. This project asks: how can ethnographic attention to the varied forms of civilian police oversight commissions lend insight into the dynamics of racial inequality, political critique and democratic practice in the contemporary U.S. This project uses team-based multi-sited ethnography to interrogate the untested assumption that instituting civilian-led police oversight commissions automatically leads to the types of reforms and social changes for which communities and policing scholars have called. Selecting three U.S. sites at the county-level that are in varying stages of forming or sustaining civilian-led police oversight commissions, this project turns its ethnographic attention to the varied histories, forms, successes and failures of civilian oversight. 

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

May 14, 2024

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Media Contact:
Walter Kraft