Twenty-two proposals to receive feasibility studies 

Proposals to support University of Florida partnerships with businesses, use longitudinal data to support K-12 students in their learning, and expand UF’s prowess in space science are among the projects that will move forward with preliminary feasibility studies as part of UF’s strategic funding process to improve student experiences and bolster interdisciplinary research. Twenty-two proposals have been identified for further evaluation.

“The projects selected for a feasibility study have a lot of potential and, because each is a big-ticket item, we’re going to do some additional homework,” Sasse said. “We know that we need to put each dollar to the best use and, to do that wisely, we’re going to get more data. We want to get preliminary feasibility studies as a responsible next step.” 

The proposals were selected from 163 submissions by faculty and staff who responded to an invitation from Sasse to submit ideas for how legislative funding could be used to improve the university and enhance its impact. 

After UF received $130 million in new funding from the state Legislature this year, Sasse established that, for the first time, more than half of the new funding must be demonstrably used for strategic purposes. $24 million has been delivered to deans directly to report back on their strategic uses of funds, and another $50 million will be made available across all UF’s colleges and administrative units to submit proposals for how the money can be best spent. Today, the first round awarded $9.2 million to projects across UF. An additional 22 proposals will be further examined with the CFO’s office for assessment of their promise and impact. 

Projects not selected for immediate funding or for feasibility studies will be deferred until the second round of awardees is announced in November.

The projects that will undergo feasibility studies are: 

  • Veterinary Medicine: Doctorate in veterinary medicine expansion. The proposal would use bridge funding for faculty workforce to support DVM student expansion, resident specialty training and clinical translational research.
  • College of Medicine, Gainesville: Precision medical education pilot program. The proposal would develop a Precision Medical Education pilot program that integrates longitudinal data and analytics to deliver educational intervention. 
  • College of Medicine, Gainesville: Pain and Addiction Therapeutics (PATH) Collaboratory. The proposal would coordinate efforts across various colleges, centers, and institutes to accelerate the discovery and licensing of new therapeutics to treat pain and addiction. 
  • College of Dentistry: Implementing AI-clinical Decision Support in DMD Curriculum. 
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Imaging Instrumentation Technology Program "UF Space." The proposal would lead instrumentation/technology development, promote the transfer of space technology to the space industry for commercial applications into areas beneficial to the state of Florida and the US, train UF students to become the next generation of leading scientists and technologists in future space missions, and use HiPerGator for space mission analysis and mining the resulting petabytes of space-imaging data.
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Digital Humanities Lab. The proposal would offer coursework, experiential learning, and professional development opportunities to students and faculty across the campus, catalyze partnerships across disciplinary lines and colleges (Engineering, Arts, Libraries, Humanities), and forge collaborations with cultural and thought-industry partners across Florida and the region. 
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Collaborative Data-Science Interdisciplinary Space. The proposal aims to create opportunities for students to engage in real-world problem-solving at every level of the curriculum, including:  Lower-division, classroom-based offerings in the existing “Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience” (CURE) portfolio, developed in collaboration with industry professionals; experiential learning and capstone offerings that embed advanced undergraduates in industry settings for substantial projects lasting up to one semester; and graduate student internships that translate research to industry and vice versa, informing the development of university-industry/agency partnerships
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Cross-Disciplinary Curriculum Pathways. The proposal would create 5 new curricular pathways on strategic fields to spark student intellectual engagement, align UF undergraduate education with peer/benchmark institutions, facilitate transfer student success, and develop regional workforce capacity.
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Public Speaking Lab and Consulting Team. The proposal would update space and technology to better assist UF clients and develop materials and modules that can be deployed in both courses and sponsored research consultations.
  • College of Engineering: Gator Design and Innovation Center. The proposal will develop a state-of-the-art design center for cross-disciplinary student teams and organizations that develop extra- and co-curricular projects and technologies. More than 40 student groups compete in national and international competitions and win at the highest levels. The proposal aims to consolidate all student organization facilities in a single venue.
  • Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering: Catalyzing Cancer Cures through Engineering. The proposal will leverage the unique resources and expertise of the college in conjunction with the recent National Cancer Institute Designation for the UF Health Cancer Center to establish a Cancer Engineering Translational Research Program. 
  • International Center: UF International House planning funds. The proposal would plan an International House similar to that at the University of Chicago: a free-standing building providing student housing and dynamic cultural programming. 
  • Florida Museum of Natural History: Launching research experience for undergraduates program at the museum. The proposal would work to engage UF students with unique, multi-disciplinary research experiences through research credits and paid internships. 
  • Levin College of Law: Housing Law Clinic. The proposal would give law students the opportunity to build local experience in helping the community with housing issues.
  • Warrington College of Business: Workforce Development/Exec. Ed. Platform. The proposal would bring expertise from across UF to companies across Florida. While housed in the business college, the platform would partner with Engineering, Law, DCP, and UF Health.
  • College of Health and Human Performance: Integrative AI-Enhanced Health Education and Workforce Development Initiative. The proposal would develop certificates for active healthcare professionals, virtual labs for new AI-related methods, seed grants for innovative projects, and a digital cloud based clearing house of AI resources.
  • College of Health and Human Performance: UF Culinary Institute. The proposal would provide a new culinary facility at UF and support culinary education/create new programs around culinary education.
  • College of Education: Empowering Educators. The proposal would collaborate between the College of Education, CLAS, and Florida state colleges to prepare teachers in language arts and social sciences. Students from state colleges could earn a UF degree focusing on language arts and social sciences at the secondary level.
  • College of Education: Healthy HABITS. The proposal would develop a series of micro-credentials offering four stackable certificates in middle childhood, early adolescence, late adolescence, and emerging adulthood with multiple pre-service and in-service professional tracks.
  • Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences: Agricultural and Rural Entrepreneurship. The project would develop educational materials for micro-credentials and build a network of entrepreneurs to increase workforce development and promote small business development in rural Florida’s food and ag sectors.
  • Office of Research: UF Space Mission Institute. The proposal would create a multidisciplinary institute dedicated to enabling and growing the UF presence in space science, technology and commercial development that would position UF as a top-five US university in space research and partnerships. 
UF News October 3, 2023