Inaugural Million Dollar Research Circle celebrates research success

Categories: General News Tags: Academic Affairs

Researchers from across UNC Charlotte who lead initiatives with $1 million or more in active external funding were recognized during a reception on Wednesday, March 27.

The inaugural Million Dollar Research Circle honored 65 principal investigators. They represent 70% of the University’s current grant portfolio of more than $220 million.

Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber, in recognizing the honorees, noted their success in pushing Charlotte toward its goal as a recognized top-tier research university.

“You have helped set the bar for UNC Charlotte as a top-tier research university,” Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber said during the reception. “The work you are doing is having a real impact on our University and our students and helping to power the future for our region and our state.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education has projected that Charlotte – which has seen a 123% increase in research expenditures over the past decade — will be classified as a Carnegie R1 (“very high research activity”) when new classifications are announced in early 2025.

The Million Dollar Research Circle, one of several new initiatives to support research through the Division of Research, recognizes faculty who have received federal and state grants as well as grants and awards from business and industry to support research, programs and creative discoveries.

gaber, fowler and danielsResearchers named to the 2024 Million Dollar Research Circle include:

  • Catherine Fowler ’98 M.Ed., ’07 Ph.D., who is lead for the National Technical Assistance Center at Charlotte. Fowler has the largest amount of active funding at $20.4 million
  • Three additional faculty who have at least $5 million in active external research grants: Xiuxia Du, Wei Fan and Rob Cramer
  • Three recent National Science Foundation CAREER recipients: Brittany Anderson, Christopher Bejger and Jonathan Foley. The award is considered a top award for junior faculty
  • 115 NSF awards, with 12 awards of more than $1 million
  • 11 National Institutes of Health awards of more than $1 million

“We congratulate all the dedicated researchers named to the inaugural Charlotte’s Million Dollar Research Circle,” said Deb Thomas, associate vice chancellor of research. “This represents the vast depth and breadth of expertise at Charlotte. Their contributions are inspiring. ”

John Daniels, vice chancellor of research, said the University plans for this to become an annual event. The reception was held at the Bissell House.

“The million dollar threshold is indeed remarkable,” Daniels said, “but what’s even more impressive is the underlying commitment and the meaning behind the million dollars.”

2024 Million Dollar Research Circle

Cato College of Education

Brittany Anderson
Kelly M. Anderson
Kristen D. Beach
Catherine H. Fowler
Scott P. Kissau
Richard G. Lambert
Ya-yu Lo
Debra S. Morris
Teresa M. Petty
Michelle L. Stephan
Virginia L. Walker
Charles L. Wood

College of Computing and Informatics

Mohsen M. Dorodchi
Xiuxia Du
Anthony Fodor
Liyue Fan
John S. Gero
Cynthia J. Gibas
Jun-tao Guo
Heather R. Lipford
Ann E. Loraine
Aidong Lu
Rebekah L. Rogers

College of Health and Human Services

Robert J. Cramer
Laura H. Gunn
Yvette M. Huet
Shanti J. Kulkarni
Michael E. Thompson
Catrine Tudor-Locke

College of Humanities & Earth and Social Sciences

Cheryl L. Brown
Shelley L. Johnson
Joshua P. Miller
Mary E. Stearns
James I. Walsh

College of Science

Ishwar D. Aggarwal
Kirill A. Afonin
Danillo G. Augusto
Christopher M. Bejger
Anthony M. Fernandes
Jonathan J. Foley
Kristen E. Funk
Ian Marriott
Allison W. McCulloch
Adam M. Reitzel
Bao-Hua Song
Thomas J. Suleski
Andrew Truman
Patricija van Oosten-Hawle
Juan L. Vivero-Escoto
Shan Yan

William States Lee College of Engineering

Aidan F. Browne
Tara L. Cavalline
Badrul H. Chowdhury
Robert W. Cox
Farah Deeba
John L. Daniels
Wei Fan
Olya S. Keen
Michael S. Mazzola
Edward P. Morse
Brigid Mullany
Fareena Saqib
Steven R. Schmid
Hamed Tabkhivayghan
Brett Q. Tempest

Photo, top, UNC Charlotte PIs who lead active external funding of $1 million or more join Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Jennifer Troyer for a group photo during the reception.

Inset, Catherine Fowler, PI for the largest amount of active funding at UNC Charlotte at $20.4 million, is congratulated by Chancellor Gaber and Vice Chancellor John Daniels.