Skip to main content

Academic and Research Excellence Update
October 24, 2023

Dear colleagues,

Since January, we have regularly shared key investments and initiatives that support, incentivize, and reward scholarly impact and research excellence at Purdue. As we approach the final months of 2023, we write to provide you with the latest updates on those initiatives and to share some additional news, including some outstanding achievements of our Purdue faculty and staff.

With best wishes,

Karen Plaut, Executive Vice President for Research
Chris Ruhl, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Patrick Wolfe, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity

Notable Achievements by Faculty and Staff

  1. Gebisa Ejeta awarded National Medal of Science. Today President Biden awarded the National Medal of Science to Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, executive director of Purdue’s Center for Global Food Security. The White House recognized him for “outstanding contributions to plant genetics” and “improving food security for millions.”

    “Gebisa Ejeta is one of the most impactful geneticists in the world, a remarkable research leader at Purdue and a role model of perseverance for all Boilermakers,” said President Mung Chiang. “Our university celebrates another prestigious and richly deserved honor, bestowed by the President of the United States, to Gebisa.”

    More details are available in this Purdue media release.

  2. Discretionary funds for new awards of $5 million or more. This recognition program awards $50,000 in discretionary funds to PIs of new, multi-year research awards. So far in FY2024, these funds have been awarded to two PIs:

    • Andrew Otte, College of Engineering, $9.85 million (NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse)
    • Songlin Fei, College of Agriculture, $8.96 million (American Forest Foundation/Natural Resources Conservation Service)

    Earlier awardees and full program details are at the Office of Research website.

  3. Purdue faculty publish 16 books. By authoring books, Purdue faculty can raise the visibility of their work and enhance Purdue’s reputation as a world-class research university. During August and September, 16 books were published by Purdue faculty members. We congratulate our Purdue authors!

Title Purdue Author(s) College Publisher
Analytic Information Theory Wojciech Szpankowski Science Cambridge Univ. Press
Leibniz Lea Aurelia Schroeder Liberal Arts Oxford Univ. Press
Toward Inclusive Learning Design Marisa Exter Education Springer Verlag
Are We Making a Difference? Stacey L. Connaughton Liberal Arts Rowman & Littlefield
Beyond Empathy and Inclusion Mary F. Scudder Liberal Arts Oxford Univ. Press
Biology and Ecology of Fishes Tomas O. Hook Agriculture John Wiley & Sons
Robert Franklin Williams Speaks Ronald J. Stephens Liberal Arts Anthem Press
Routledge International Handbook of Visual-motor Skills, Handwriting, and Spelling Catherine Mcbride Health & Human Services Routledge
Supply Chain Engineering Paul M. Griffin Engineering CRC Press
Rules of the Road Spencer Headworth Liberal Arts Stanford Univ. Press
Polyester Films Miko Cakmak Engineering John Wiley & Sons Inc
Insect Protein Andrea Liceaga Agriculture Blackwell Publishing
24/7 Politics Kathryn Cramer Brownell Liberal Arts Princeton Univ. Press
Multiscale Structural Mechanics Wenbin Yu Engineering John Wiley & Sons
Shuffle Approach Towards Quantum Affine and Toroidal Algebras Alexander Tsymbaliuk Science Springer Verlag
Gender, Digitization, and Resilience in International Development Julia Bello Bravo and Barry Robert Pittendrigh Agriculture Routledge

The Faculty Recognition Office maintains a publications list at Purdue-authored books (source: Academic Analytics).

  1. Dramatic rise in number of proposal submissions. Sponsored Program Services reports a significant increase in the number of submitted research proposals. During the first 3 months of FY2024, Purdue investigators set a record with 1,176 submitted proposals, totaling $774 million.

    This represents a large jump over the same period in FY2023 and over the 10-year average for proposals submitted in this same period which is 936 proposals totaling $430 million. With $41 million already awarded as of Sept. 30th, this pipeline of proposals is a great sign for funding this fiscal year. Congratulations to all!

Proposal Submission FY2014-FY2024 Period 1-3

Support Initiatives and Funding Opportunities for Faculty and Staff

  1. High performance research computing. Purdue’s high performance computing (HPC) system, which serves 2,700 research faculty and staff across all campuses, colleges, and departments continues to grow and evolve to serve more research needs. HPC capabilities have expanded significantly to better support AI and will soon add a new high-speed parallel storage system. Meanwhile, preliminary planning is underway for the next community cluster supercomputer, known as ‘Gautschi,’ which should rank among the world’s top 100 supercomputers and #4 among U.S. universities. To learn more about research computing resources or to add computational expertise to your proposal team, contact Preston Smith at

  2. Enhanced Sponsored Program Services Contracting support. Sponsored Program Services (SPS) Contracting has established a dedicated contracting team to focus on material transfer agreements (MTA), non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and data use agreements (DUA). In the past few weeks, two of the three new positions (NDA and MTA specialists) have been filled. These key roles will provide dedicated assistance and speed time to completion of these contracts. This will also free up contract analysts to focus on other important negotiations. For more information, contact the SPS contracting team at

  3. Contracting & NDA processes. Research contracts including NDAs have in some cases experienced significant delays involving various university and PRF organizations due to staff workload, inefficient processes and the changing landscape of federal regulations. As a result, many existing processes and procedures need to be redesigned. Going forward, Dr. Karen Plaut will make final decisions on development and implementation of streamlined and fast-response guidance and standards for contract processing. Stay tuned for updates.

  4. Pre-award deadline policy. Considering the growing number of grant proposals made by Purdue faculty and staff, a new pre-award policy went into effect Sept. 15. Detailing deadlines for each stage prior to submission, this new policy helps ensures that every grant proposal gets a thorough and timely pre-submission review. More information about the policy is available at the Pre-Award website.

Grant writing timeline graphic

  1. Weekly funding newsletter. Each week the Office of Research distributes a list of new grant opportunities. This communication contains a summary of funding opportunities, including limited submissions. If you are not currently receiving the newsletter, you can subscribe at Office of Research Weekly Funding Newsletter.

  2. Grant-writing workshops. Throughout the year, the Office of Research offers workshops on grant-writing strategies. All faculty and staff are encouraged to participate, especially those who are new to Purdue. A list of workshops is available at the Office of Research website.

  3. Purdue Innovates. Purdue Innovates is a streamlined system providing support and resources for technology commercialization, intellectual property protection and licensing, enterprise creation, and venture capital. Any Purdue faculty or staff member wishing assistance can access more information at Purdue Innovates or by contacting Christian Butzke, Purdue’s new senior university fellow for innovation and entrepreneurship.

  4. Purdue NIH Incentive programs spring 2024 due dates. There are new spring 2024 application deadlines for faculty seeking NIH incentive funding. Applications for the NIH R01/U01 Program are due Feb. 19, 2024, and applications for the NIH Competing Renewal R01 Program are due Feb. 22, 2024. Applications for the Selected NIH Training Grant Program continue to be accepted on an ongoing basis.

Events and Activities Supporting Academic and Research Excellence

  1. Purdue Computes: IPAI town hall planned. The Office of Research and Institute for Physical AI (IPAI) will host a town hall to explore opportunities to deepen Purdue’s leadership in the physical applications of AI and related research areas. The town hall will feature workstream presentations from IPAI steering committee members and breakout discussions to define projects to advance and fund.

    The town hall will be held on Monday, Oct. 30, from 1-3 p.m. in Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121. All faculty and staff are welcome to attend but must preregister at IPAI town hall registration.

  2. Life and Health Sciences Summit. To chart Purdue’s next major investments in the field, a life and health sciences summit took place on Oct. 19. Ahead of the summit, faculty submitted interdisciplinary research proposals for consideration. The summit featured presentations and discussions of six proposals and an ‘open mic’ session. More information about the summit is available in Purdue Today.

  3. Academic reputation surveys. In coming weeks, select faculty who have been nominated by peer institutions may be approached to complete external surveys on academic excellence. Importantly, these surveys will inform the 2025 World University Rankings which are used by prospective students, researchers and others. The surveys are brief and should not take more than 15 minutes to complete. The Times Higher Education survey runs in late fall and invitations are sent from The QS survey runs in early spring and invitations are sent from

Previously Announced Initiatives


  • Faculty Enhanced Research Appointment Program. The pilot Faculty Enhanced Research Appointment Program (FERAP) for FY2024 has begun with 41 eligible faculty receiving offer letters in August. A decision about continuing this program for FY2025 will be made and communicated in coming months.

    Information about FERAP, including eligibility criteria, is available at the FERAP webpage. Please email any questions, comments or feedback to

  • New federal appropriations process. A strong faculty response followed the recent introduction of our new standardized process for soliciting federal appropriation requests. Faculty members (tenure-track/tenured, research, clinical) submitted 17 projects for consideration. Review of submissions is nearing completion and will be communicated shortly. Full program details are available at the Federal Appropriation Request Process website.

  • Funding support for Purdue University Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund. To support even more researchers, the Office of Research, Purdue Libraries and the School of Information Studies recently increased the amount of funds available for open-access publishing at Purdue. This support is available to any Purdue West Lafayette faculty member, researcher, post-doc, staff member, or graduate student facing article processing charges. Details on open access publishing and how to apply are available at the Purdue University Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund website.

  • Purdue Research Bridge Program. Applications continue to be accepted for this program, which helps cover short-term funding gaps to maintain research programs at minimum ‘essential’ levels. The goal is to increase the likelihood of external funding renewal. The program requires a 1:1 match and active pursuit of external funding by faculty. Details are available online at the Research Bridge Program website.

  • SPARK: support for teams pursuing large, competitive national center grants. Several strong applications were received for the fall 2023 round of the SPARK

    (Supporting Partnering for Advanced Research teamworK) program. SPARK supports interdisciplinary teams pursuing large center research grants by providing up to $100,000 to Purdue teams for critical development activities linked to external grant proposals of $7 million or more. Decisions for this round will be announced shortly.

    There will be a spring round of the 2024 SPARK program, and interested teams should start preparing. For more information, visit the SPARK website.

Support Services

  • Faculty Recognition Office. Elevating and celebrating faculty excellence is the primary mission of the new faculty recognition team, and that work is well underway. The team has begun submitting several faculty members for prestigious national and international awards and meeting with others to discuss external award opportunities. To facilitate these conversations, the Faculty Affairs website has been updated to include two new submission forms. One allows faculty members to inform us when they win an external award and/or published a book and the other is to request assistance, ask questions or leave feedback for the recognition office. We encourage faculty to use both forms.

  • Purdue Faculty Concierge. West Lafayette faculty experiencing issues, questions, or concerns can get help from the Purdue Faculty Concierge program, a service of the Office of Research. The program welcomes inquiries from all teaching and research faculty at any stage in their careers. Learn more about the program at the Faculty Concierge website.

  • Enhanced IRB/IACUC support. We have added an advisor who can help faculty and staff navigate the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol application processes. To learn more or to schedule a virtual appointment, please visit the IRB Contact website.

  • Trial credit card pilot for externally funded research project purchases. To streamline procurement of research-related goods and services, this credit card pilot program was launched in March with faculty from six colleges participating. Early results confirmed that monthly- and single-transaction card limits were sufficient.

    This trial program has been extended through December 2023 to allow more time to assess the level of card participation and transaction activity.

  • Purdue Excellence in Research Administration (PERA). In April, the Purdue Board of Trustees approved a multi-million dollar investment for an innovative electronic research administration system. PERA (Purdue Excellence in Research Administration) is a next generation system that will automate processes involved with applying for research grants, managing research funding, and performing regulatory, ethics, training and compliance practices. The Purdue PERA project team began a two-year phased rollout of PERA in September. More information can be found at the new PERA website.

    For more information about PERA or joining the PERA User Group, please contact Jessica Lawrence (

  • Increased Sponsored Program Services (SPS) staffing by 25%. Since announcing in January an investment to bolster SPS staffing by 25% to improve faculty services and response times, 21 of 22 new positions (95%) have been filled. Aside from ongoing recruitment of two new roles in the non-financial contracting team, expansion of the following faculty support areas is complete: pre-award, post-award, research quality assurance, data & support, marketing & communications, training and SPS administration.

  • Major capital projects - $1.3 billion. Purdue is investing more than $1.3 billion in major capital projects that include support of Purdue’s academic and research efforts with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Some notable recent developments include:

    • Dudley and Lambertus Hall: new instructional and teaching labs, design studios and collaborative spaces to support the College of Engineering and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute
    • Hypersonics & Applied Research Facility (HARF): construction was recently completed on this new national security facility, featuring HYPULSE and Mach 8 wind tunnels, an advanced manufacturing suite and secure communications
    • Zucrow Lab-9 High Pressure Air Plant: five new propulsion test cells and a high-pressure air plant will support Purdue’s National Security and Technology Initiative and Purdue Applied Research Institute (PARI); planned completion by March 2025
    • Life Science Ranges Phenotyping Greenhouse Building: this new phenotyping-enabled facility with standard and teaching greenhouse space will support Purdue’s Next Moves “Plant Sciences 2.0” initiative; scheduled for completion by May 2025
    • Birck Nanotechnology Clean Room Modernization: modernization of equipment, air handling units, controls and plumbing that supports new research in microelectronics and quantum activities to be completed by January 2025
    • Nursing and Pharmacy Education Building: Purdue Board of Trustees approved plans for a new educational facility to address the need for more skilled nurses and pharmacists and to expand laboratory animal care facilities; completion is planned for 2027.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

© 2024 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Research

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Office of Research at