Jun. 4, 2024


FY25 Federal Funding Request Spotlights:

RadiochemistryUNLV’s pioneering undergraduate radiochemistry program is poised for success through a strategic partnership with Shimadzu. This collaboration enhances the program’s capabilities, facilitating the acquisition of cutting-edge equipment essential for hands-on learning and research. With Shimadzu’s support, the program aims to prepare graduates for diverse careers in academia, industry, and government while shaping radiochemistry education's future.

Challenger Learning CenterInstalling a Challenger Learning Center at UNLV promises to engage CCSD students in immersive STEM experiences through NASA-vetted simulations, fostering academic growth and interest in higher education. This initiative aligns with Challenger Center's longstanding mission to inspire and empower students through hands-on learning, building a brighter future for STEM education in the Las Vegas community.

Digital Equity and Research Infrastructure Enhancement (DERIE)DERIE integrates digital equity initiatives with advanced research infrastructure, allocating $1,600,000 to address disparities in digital access and literacy and $1,700,000 to streamline research computing and storage. By combining these efforts, DERIE fosters inclusive growth and innovation in higher education, ensuring equitable access to resources and enhancing collaboration across diverse disciplines.

Nursing IntegrationUNLV School of Nursing is pioneering the integration of digital simulation environments and real patient electronic medical record data to revolutionize nursing education in Nevada. Through strategic partnerships and innovative programs, such as a forthcoming master's degree in nursing informatics, the school is poised to prepare nursing professionals for the challenges of modern healthcare.

Electron Probe Microanalysis (EPMA)UNLV's request for funding to acquire an EPMA will significantly enhance research and education in various scientific domains, positioning the university at the forefront of cutting-edge exploration, including the potential analysis of Mars 2020 returned samples. The EPMA's versatile capabilities will benefit students, faculty, and collaborators across multiple institutions in Las Vegas, fostering innovation and discovery in the region's scientific community.

Jackson Street ExperienceThis project aims to rejuvenate Southern Nevada's Historic Westside by training 48 local software developers to create immersive metaverse experiences that showcase the vibrant history of Jackson Street. Through a partnership with Dreamscape Learn, these developers will bring to life the community's resilience and creativity, bridging the past with the future through technology and tourism.

Rapid Ultra-Lightweight Infrastructure Manufacturing ProjectThe collaborative research program led by UNLV, UNR, and UM aims to address pressing national challenges by synergizing efforts across multiple departments and institutions. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, approximately 10-15 principal investigators will pioneer innovative solutions in additive manufacturing, sustainable materials development, and infrastructure optimization for enhanced military applications.

Trio & Gear UpThis proposal seeks increased funding for the TRIO program at UNLV to enhance its outreach and support capabilities. This augmentation seeks to provide students from underrepresented backgrounds with more excellent resources and guidance for academic success. Expanding the program's reach would foster diversity and inclusivity within the university community. Furthermore, there is a call to bolster resources for GEAR UP at UNLV and extend its impact on local students by providing essential tools and opportunities for academic achievement. Investing in these programs would empower more students to overcome barriers to education and realize their full potential.

Hispanic Serving Research and STEM Education Cohort Program - This proposal seeks funding to continue developing a multi-institutional Hispanic Serving Research Cohort program that will support graduate recruitment, retention, and professional development across nine states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Texas) through experiential and onsite learning with Defense Labs; develop bridge programs that seamlessly tie Ph.D. completion with continued, extended Post-Doctoral research; conduct scholarly networking activities; and supporting the HSRU Cohort with inclusive teaching practices, grant writing support, early career mentorship, and development resources to enter academia or industry. 


FY24 Federal Funding Request Spotlights:

Smart Cities - The US Department of Transportation leadership through the Smart City Challenge Program has resulted in community-driven advanced technology transportation projects. The Department is encouraged to ensure the program is continued and its impacts broadened and to identify program elements and characteristics which could be applied to large urban areas and small or rural communities. In particular, the Department is urged to invest in research, development, and deployment efforts related to Connected and Automated Vehicles and Infrastructure Systems (CAVIS). Further, the Department is urged to create incentives for urban and rural communities to use advanced data and CAVIS technologies to improve their transportation network through existing competitive grant programs. The Department should engage with local communities, metropolitan planning organizations, and regional transportation commissions and encourage them to partner with the private sector and not-for-profit organizations on these innovative technological solutions and other ‘‘smart communities/cities’’ concepts.

The Smart Communities: Safe, Efficient, Effective, and Equitable Transportation Systems (SC-SEEETS) will exploit advanced technologies and innovative partnerships to effectively address these challenges. It will incorporate vehicle, infrastructure, sensors, communications, and data analytics capabilities to enhance safety, improve travel time reliability, and increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of the allocation of limited resources including handling emergency / disaster-type scenarios. It will build on ongoing initiatives in the Las Vegas metropolitan area which have demonstrated the integration of several elements needed to successfully develop, deploy, and operate a Connected, Automated, Vehicle and Infrastructure System (CAVIS). These will address passenger and freight movement, and the needs of system users who traverse the network. These are critically important to the quality of living of individuals (residents and visitors) and the economic vitality of communities in the region which is heavily reliant on tourism, hospitality, and entertainment.

SEEETS will leverage ongoing and upcoming grants such as those from the NSF (MRI program), US DOT (UTC program), and the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety and Nevada Department of Transportation. It will build on existing partnerships between public and private sector organizations and the academe. Examples of such participants include the Nevada Department of Transportation, Nevada Highway Patrol, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Clark County, City of Las Vegas, Cisco, Derq, Halo Car, Lyft, Motional, Nuro, Uber, and Waycare. It will draw expertise from units across UNLV such as Business, Engineering, Hospitality, Law, Medicine, Public Policy, Psychology, and Urban Affairs.

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center - This request is for $6,000,000 to establish a research program to promote the rapid manufacturing of bio-degradable ultra-lightweight infrastructure and protection panels for Military Operations in challenging environments. This addresses a critical U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) challenge, which is ensuring the safety and sustainability of military operations around the world.

The proposed research program will be led by UNLV to develop and test environmentally sustainable, indigenous, lightweight, layered ultra-strong materials with multifunctional properties for the facilitation of successful military operations globally. The special focus will be on minimizing the degradation of these materials due to corrosion and other environmental effects as well as projectile resistance.

This project will help UNLV develop the first congressional district as a leader in U.S. Army technology development to meet the changing global needs of our warfighters. Additionally, it is expected that some of the students involved in this project will develop startup companies in Nevada based on the research they developed.

National Nuclear Cybersecurity Workforce Development - The National Nuclear Cybersecurity Workforce (NNSS-NNSA) is facing multiple challenges to maintaining its competitive edge. These challenges range from the cybersecurity of various systems to the development of new materials that can operate under severe environmental conditions without losing their functionality. The aim of this effort is to develop a pipeline of undergraduate and graduate computer science and engineering students who are trained through a combination of NNSS-NNSA-based internships, and projects, and are prepared to join the NNSS-NNSA technical workforce upon graduation to support National Security.

Nevada National Security Site - The USA faces many national security challenges, including the detection of nuclear, chemical, and biological threats, blast containment, shock mitigation, and smart grid security. Engineering security systems are an important area of research for the State of Nevada and the nation. Our researchers are or have been, funded by various federal and state agencies as well as industrial partners.

The proposed National Security Center (NSC) will expand on the expertise of UNLV researchers in this area to provide vital resources for the US Department of Energy (DoE), the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), and our National Labs, in particular Los Alamos and Sandia. Additionally, the center will interact with the US Department of Homeland Security to address various issues of national interest including cybersecurity, monitoring our borders, and protection of various assets and risk assessment, especially in water and transportation areas. The UNLV NSC will also serve as a source for producing much-needed qualified personnel who are ready to step in for the rapidly aging workforce in these agencies.

The NSC will advance technologies to effectively address these challenges by incorporating remote detection technologies, secure communications, detection of cybersecurity breaches, blast containment and mitigation, and material characterization, especially under elevated loading rates. To bolster our research in these areas, the UNLV NSC will expand ongoing initiatives and existing partnerships, which have demonstrated our ability to work with federal agencies, national labs, and industry to successfully develop innovative technologies while preparing the next generation who will staff these entities. UNLV will also reach out to collaborators from other universities with complementary skillsets to complement the scope of the proposed research.

Alphachron - This request is for $981,000 to purchase new analytical equipment which would establish the only such lab in Nevada. Nevada’s ability to train the next generation of STEM graduates will be assisted by the acquisition of the Alphachron mass spectrometer and will provide students access to a state-of-the-art research facility at UNLV. Currently, faculty at UNLV, UNR and the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology collaborate on research using these techniques. Such a laboratory complements existing equipment that has already trained students for work in the educational, private, and governmental sectors, and will provide training to students in geoscience and other disciplines that will prepare them for employment in Nevada. In particular, the proposed instrumentation is expected to help students seeking employment in the mineral resource and economic geology sectors.

Through hands-on experience, UNLV students and researchers will have access to new state-of-the-art analytical equipment that will stimulate research programs and student training. It will further enhance Nevada’s ability to attract top talent to the state and catalyze success in acquiring research funding from Federal sources such as the National Science Foundation and NASA. UNLV researchers have increasingly had success with external grant funding, and this new instrumentation will further increase competitive research proposals.

Supercomputer Investment - This request is for $4,000,000 in funding for hardware and software resources for the National Supercomputing Institute. Having access to the newest computational technology will enhance and expand UNLV’s current research programs and will act as a catalyst for new emerging research interests in the areas of bioinformatics, medical research, atmospheric forecasting, climate change research, molecular modeling, and big data analytics. This state-of-the-art technology will enhance the computational capacity in support of UNLV’s research community, as well as future and current tenants of the Research Technology Park, and will help in building new collaborations with the private sector (i.e., Switch, Intel, and Dell Technologies).

Without a sophisticated and sustainable computing infrastructure, UNLV researchers will lose the ability to undertake a broad range of scientific research and will lose the opportunity to address science’s greatest challenges and collaborate on international grand challenges. A steadily broadening array of research activities at UNLV rely on the availability and access to Supercomputing resources. This upgrade will enhance and play a critical educational role for both graduate and undergraduate students while playing an important role in faculty recruitment.

BIOX – Cell Sorter - This FY24 Appropriations Request is for $765,148 to support the purchase of a 3D Bioprinter. With the advent of this novel bioprinting technology, it is now possible to generate specific biological tissues and valves which can repair or replace damaged body parts. Indeed, bioprinted materials are integral components of regenerative research at many academic medical centers in the USA and would be of great benefit at UNLV. Unfortunately, there is not a 3D bioprinter available for UNLV’s biomedical researchers, impeding our ability to conduct research.

If the University is allocated the necessary funds for the procurement of a 3D bioprinter, it will significantly enhance the abilities of several UNLV laboratories to conduct regenerative research that is currently not feasible. Such capabilities would improve the University’s chances to successfully compete for extramural grant funding. The Bioprinter will be operated by skilled personnel in a wet lab within the Science and Engineering Building at the UNLV main campus. The ability to produce 3D-printed biomaterials for the repair of chronic wounds would greatly improve the ability of UNLV scientists and physicians to first test these products in animal models - and subsequently in humans. If successful, such research projects may lead to formulation of treatment methods for wounds due to battlefield trauma.

This request is additionally for the purchase a state-of-art Cell Sorter instrument accompanied by an advanced Imaging Microscope. In the last few years, UNLV has made tremendous strides in biomedical research in Southern Nevada. These advances have resulted in increased high-impact national/international publications, increased collaborations with multidisciplinary research groups, and increased funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other grant agencies. The research of more than ten research groups at UNLV requires a cutting-edge Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter and an Imaging Microscope; a cell sorter to enable the analysis of stem cells for their cell surface and nuclear markers and sort cells accordingly, and an imaging microscope to analyze the sorted cells in-depth. These instruments will enable and support research activities on the function and regulation of various stem cells and cancer stem cells, tissue repair, regenerative medicine, and clinical stem cell medicine.

The cell sorter will enhance the investigation of the function and regulation of various cells or clinical samples to enhance cell research at UNLV and provide support for potential clinical applications. The Las Vegas community would greatly benefit from the acquisition of a state-of-art cell sorter at the College of Sciences, Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine, and Brain Health School of Integrated Health Sciences at UNLV.

Nursing Simulation - This FY24 Appropriations Request is for $2,000,000 to support the UNLV School of Nursing Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas (CSCLV) funding request for simulation equipment to replace aging equipment. These purchases will allow the School of Nursing to replace simulation equipment, including mannequins for medical scenarios, ultrasound machines, medication dispensing machines, and beds. Healthcare skills and simulation training provides education, assessment, research, and health system integration in facilitating patient safety. Medical & Nursing simulation allows the acquisition of clinical skills through deliberate practice rather than an apprentice style of learning. Simulation tools serve as an alternative to real patients. A trainee can make mistakes and learn from them without fear of harming the patient.

In 2019, over 80,000 qualified applicants were not admitted into nursing programs due to limited space. The purchase of new equipment will support the annual nursing student admission growth from 216 – 312 directly impacting the nursing shortage. The Las Vegas community would greatly benefit from the UNLV nursing students’ utilization of healthcare simulation equipment in improved “SAFE” patient care at the bedside, increased confidence, and professional and caring communication skills practiced/promoted at the School of Nursing Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas.

Advancing Quantum Computing at UNLV - In UNLV's FY24 Appropriations Requests, $1M was requested to purchase an ultralow temperature cryogenic system, including a dilution refrigerator and accessories for quantum computer constructions. This system will enhance the research and education of quantum information at UNLV, a field that has the potential to revolutionize the way we process information and solve complex problems that are beyond the capabilities of classical computers.

The requested instruments are the components needed to construct a research center for exploring new methods and technologies in quantum sensing and information processing, as well as connecting expertise in AMO physics, condensed matter physics, physical chemistry, surface science, and electrical engineering. The proposed research system, including two architectures of quantum computers, will fill a scientific, technological, and educational gap in the State of Nevada.