Faculty and students across a variety of scientific disciplines can now collaborate on projects and the search for research grants with the launch of UCF's new Applied Research Institute.

At the institute, faculty will be able to apply in groups for grants, and students can find “resources, training and research opportunities in areas where funding is available,” according to a press release.

Provost Dale Whittaker said the institute would accelerate research by bridging the gap between various scientific disciplines.

“As UCF’s research program matures and we identify areas of distinctive impact and unique strengths, this new applied research institute will play a critical role in helping our faculty pursue interdisciplinary projects focused on tackling today’s biggest scientific and societal challenges,” Whittaker said in the press release.

The institute’s initial focus will lie in projects that “align with Florida’s economic development needs, such as photonics, modeling and simulation, engineering and biomedicine,” according to the release.

Randall Shumaker, the institute’s interim director and the current director of the Institute for Simulation and Training, said the department is already seeking ways to apply research conducted at the school toward industrial or nation-security needs.

“As a former senior civilian leader for the U.S. Navy, I see the immense value of providing a university-applied research organization to support industry and national security needs,” Shumaker said in the release. “We are already in discussions with partners that we will work with to transition UCF’s basic research into new concepts and applications.”

Schumaker said the institute will support itself off of funds received through its research. Until the institute finds a permanent home, it will be run out of the IST.


Bernard Wilchusky is the Editor-in-Chief of the Central Florida Future. You can reach him by email at or on Twitter @cameradudeman.

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