Goal: Develop into a regional research center of excellence in the development of emerging technologies, applied industry-oriented R&D, and health sciences and inter-disciplinary research icon

Goal: Develop into a regional research center of excellence in the development of emerging technologies, applied industry-oriented R&D, and health sciences and inter-disciplinary research

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Division of Graduate Studies and Research

UB Board of Trustees

May 14, 2010

Report for Academic Year 2009-2010

This report is a comprehensive overview of the developments achieved through the Division of Graduate Studies and Research for the current academic year.

Goal: Develop into a regional research center of excellence in the development of emerging technologies, applied industry-oriented R&D, and health sciences and inter-disciplinary research

Strategy 1: Strengthen resources and infrastructure to support and facilitate research.

Graduate Student Recruitment/Marketing/Scholarship Program

A new marketing/scholarship program was launched in the spring to recruit international and domestic graduate students. The Division of Graduate Studies and Research developed and managed the initiative jointly with UB Admissions and University Relations. A scholarship information poster and four explanatory letters were mailed to four (4) targeted populations: (1) provosts, deans and/or chairs of 1,060 U.S. universities and colleges with undergraduate business, engineering, liberal arts and sciences, industrial relations, and/or peace and conflict resolution studies, that did not have an M.S. or Ph.D in engineering or MBA programs; (2) representatives at 200 U.S. Education Foundation Advisor Centers located in 53 UB-priority countries; (3) 300 agents and consultants identified by UB’s international admissions office; and (4) administrators, deans, chairs and/or international study abroad directors at 1,152 international universities located in 51 countries that were identified by UB with the help of international students who were from these countries or were familiar with these nations’ educations systems, university rankings and other attributes.

UB representatives travelled to India this spring, where UB’s key consultants and the US Education Foundation Advisory Centers visited were very excited about the scholarship program.

Scholarship information also was e-mailed with both a poster and letter attachments to 3,563 domestic and international alumni requesting their help in spreading the word to universities located in their communities as follows: School of Engineering (1,513), School of Business (1,212), alumni of math and science programs (366), and International College (272).

Program highlights:

  • Students applying to the MBA Program, Global Development and Peace Program, or any program in our School of Engineering (MS in Mechanical, Electrical, Biomedical, Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Technology Management as well as the Ph.D degree) are eligible for this award.

  • All applicants will automatically be considered for a scholarship when they send in the University of Bridgeport application and all admissions materials.  No additional form is needed.

  • Students who wish to be considered for a scholarship must submit a GRE or GMAT score.

  • There are three award amounts: $3,000, $4,000 and $5,000 per year.  This award is based on the student’s academic achievement and test scores.

  • The scholarship will be for the new domestic or international graduate student’s first year of study.

  • All graduate students with a scholarship must take 9 credits per semester.

Agreements with International Universities and Business Development

Over the past two years, UB has developed a Memorandum of Understanding with SENAC (Centro Universitário Senac, a large university in Brazil Centro), which has resulted in a number of mutually beneficial specific agreements as follows:

  • UB and Senac have signed an agreement to offer a M.S. in Technology Management degree. Senac will teach several courses in Brazil and the students would then come to UB to complete the degree.

  • A three-week “summer abroad” program for international undergraduate students from Senac has been developed and will be offered at UB starting this summer, contingent upon a minimum enrollment of 10 students, in which a non-credit educational and cultural program will be offered in the hope of attracting new graduate students to UB. This agreement will be signed within the next two weeks. This could become a model for other undergraduate summer abroad programs at UB for international students from other countries such as Egypt, China, etc.

  • The School of Engineering is working on a proposed agreement to offer a “2+2” program leading to a B.S. in Computer Science or a B.S. in Computer Engineering. Two years of courses would be offered at Senac and the other two offered at UB.

  • UB’s School of Business has submitted an MBA agreement to Senac.

  • Senac and UB are also discussing the development and delivery of a five (5) day Executive Management Seminar for Brazilian Senior Managers to be offered both in Brazil and at UB in a November time frame.

Four MOU-type agreements have been signed with Chinese institutions. We also expect to sign an MOU with the University of Salerno in Salerno, Italy within the next two to three weeks.

A “generic” agreement has been approved by UB’s School of Engineering to be entered into with any international university, to teach three courses in the home country, with the remainder of courses to be taught at UB ( with some delivered through Distance Learning), with a UB degree earned.

UB is in communication with universities in India, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, China, and Brazil to develop joint agreements that are mutually beneficial. The graduate scholarship program identified 53 countries within which UB might want to approach various institutions to discuss the possibility of developing an agreement. A database of the names and positions of key administrators has already been established.

^ Graduate Assistantships

The funds spent on graduate assistants for the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters were $1,377,070, compared with $1,042,530 for Academic Year 2008-2009. Approximately 164 graduate students were awarded a graduate assistantship for the Fall 2009 semester, followed by approximately 151 students in the Spring 2010 semester.

Federally Negotiated Indirect Rate

UB has established a federal rate agreement for indirect and fringe benefits rates with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Cost Allocation effective 7/1/2009 to 6/30/2013. The on-campus indirect rate is 49.4% and the fringe benefits rate for full-time employees is 25.5%. These rates are applied in most federal research grant applications.

Graduate Studies and Research Website Update

The current website (www.bridgeport.edu/gsr) will be redesigned and the content distributed between the external UB website and the new, internal portal site, during the summer. The portal will provide a location for many documents that are useful and necessary to faculty researchers but, for privacy, have not been posted on the current site, which is open to the public. The result will not only streamline and automate a manual process (policies and forms distribution), but the portal will allow for the development of virtual user groups for researchers for short-term grant application development and long-term discussion and dissemination groups.


The Faculty Research Council and Graduate Council launched faculty newsletters this year (Appendix A). In addition, the Graduate Council’s current duties of review and recommendation for proposed interdisciplinary graduate programs were expanded to review and recommendation of all proposed graduate programs.

^ Development and Alumni Activities

A targeted e-mail was sent to all School of Engineering alumni to request funding to support the growth of the school. A total of 1,636 e-mails were sent to 252 domestic and 1,384 international alumni. International alumni visited the website 21 times and seven domestic alumni visited seven times, resulting in two donations that totaled $150 so far.

^ Strategy 2: Strengthen collaborations with industry within the areas of sponsored projects.

CTech IncUBator

The agreement to establish a partnership between Connecticut Innovations and UB to found an incubator was signed on March 4, 2010. As noted in Governor Rell’s April 27, 2010 press release (Appendix B), this is the first and only university-based incubator for high-tech start-ups located in Fairfield County. During the planning and development process, a number of university-based and private sector incubator directors were visited or talked to by phone to identify best practices for implementation in UB’s incubator. Various CTech IncUBator documents have been completed to date such as: Tenant Lease Form and Pro-Bono Sponsorship Form. Marketing materials and a web site are being developed.

The incubator has been developed with the following objectives:

  • Nurture and facilitate growth of new businesses and jobs in high technology and technology ventures.

  • Foster and stimulate economic development and job creation in Greater Bridgeport, Fairfield County, and the State of Connecticut.

  • Support and enable the growth and commercialization of UB’s applied research and intellectual property initiatives (e.g., U.S. Army Hybrid Projectile Design initiative – part of a $2.4 million grant; NSF Smart Browsing Systems for Endoscopy videos – $147,655 pending grant).

  • Build synergy and collaboration among industry, education, and government sectors.

  • Become self-sustaining: generate revenues through rent income, IP royalties, license fees, sponsor contributions, grants, donations, etc.

  • Leverage educational, faculty, student interns and facility resources for career and economic development.

A number of companies have expressed interest and are considering occupancy. An advisory board is currently being established, as well as a list of potential pro bono professional service providers. Governor Rell’s press release was e-mailed to 7,800 alumni and friends. The publicity has generated significant interest and inquiries, including responses from 10 UB alumni who have volunteered to help in some way.

UB’s Executive Board was updated on the CTech IncUBator initiative at the April 2, 2010 meeting. A request was made to the Board members for any type of assistance with launching the incubator.

The incubator will be housed in 250 Myrtle Avenue, which currently is being prepared with an anticipated occupancy of June/July. The official opening is targeted for September. Connecticut Innovations is purchasing the furniture, printer/copier, and a large screen monitor. CTech IncUBator includes six offices, some of which may be shared; the facility can handle up to 30 people.

^ UB Industry Advisory Boards (IABs)

This year, a formal guideline was developed, finalized, and approved by the respective Deans and the VP of the Division of Graduate Studies and Research that outlines the mission, structure, roles, responsibilities and expectations of all industry advisory boards for graduate programs at UB (Appendix C). While various advisory groups have existed in the past, the new IABs will be focused to provide very specific types of support to the various schools and colleges with graduate enrollments, as well as the groups and departments within the Division of Graduate Studies and Research. The roles and responsibilities of each IAB are as follows:

  • Provide external and objective advice and counsel to the Graduate Studies and Research Division and its schools on its programs and initiatives from an industry and market perspective.

  • Help shape the direction of education by suggesting ideas for new courses, degree and certificate programs and interdisciplinary initiatives.

  • Support institutional and sponsored research in the business, engineering and education fields through grants, contributions, joint collaboration and other services.

  • Hire student interns, co-ops and graduates.

  • Increase the visibility and image of UB and promote UB to potential students, employers, government agencies, business and industry.

  • Contribute financial support, fundraising and/or in kind services such as equipment/hardware/software donations and time allocated to UB activities.

  • Champion and support programs to attract potential donors, partners and friends.

  • Serve as a liaison between UB and his/her organization by communicating developments at the university.

  • Give guest lectures and presentations, participate in colloquia and/or consider becoming an executive-in-residence.

IABs have been newly established for the Division of Graduate Studies and Research and the School of Engineering. The Graduate Studies and Research IAB is comprised of 31 individuals who represent companies and organizations including GE, Covanta Energy, Santa Energy, Pitney Bowes, Connecticut Innovations, Warnaco, Terex, TD Bank, Discovery Museum, Newton Savings Bank, The Workplace Inc., Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc., 3M Purification Inc., Oracle and others. The School of Engineering IAB is comprised of 16 companies and their representatives, including IBM, Oracle, 3M Purification Inc., Lacey Manufacturing Co., PerkinElmer Life and Analytical Sciences, CT Venture Group, Inc. and others. IABs for the School of Business and School of Education are under development, to be formed by the dean of each school.

The Division of Graduate Studies and Research and School of Engineering’s IABs held a joint meeting on April 27, which was well attended. One of the meeting’s outcomes was the establishment of a Google group, which has already been joined by more than 25 people. The IAB will form special interest groups based on topics of mutual interest.

^ Internships and Co-ops

The number of co-ops and internships was adversely affected by the U.S. economic crisis during 2009. The 456 in 2008 was greatly reduced in 2009 to 185. For the Spring 2010 semester, 56 UB students secured a co-op or internship. During the Fall 2009 semester, 73 companies hired UB students for internships and co-ops. This number dropped to 54 companies in the Spring 2010 semester (Appendix D).

^ Internships and Co-op Website

The Graduate Studies and Research website hosts a site at which employers, prospective employers, students, prospective students, and the general public can view a list of the companies at which UB students have worked or are working.

^ Industry Cooperative Education and Internships Program Guidelines

There is much confusion among U.S. employers regarding the hiring of international students, what STEM means, the various visa classifications, etc. To help prospective employers of international student graduates from UB, an updated “Industry Cooperative Education and Internships Program Guidelines,” was developed by the Offices of International Student Affairs, Admissions, Business Development and Outreach, Career Services and the Schools of Engineering and Business.

Draft guidelines have been prepared and reviewed. The guidelines will be finalized in May and two versions will be made available to employers and other interested constituents – a hard copy booklet and a web version on the UB web site.

^ Strategy 3: Strengthen faculty training programs to increase the participation of faculty in sponsored research projects.

Faculty Grants and Contracts

UB faculty members have been awarded a number of pieces of equipment through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Related Laboratory Equipment (ERLE) grant program. The original acquisition cost of equipment awarded during the 2008-2009 Academic Year was $711,190 and as of May 1, 2010, the original acquisition cost of equipment awarded during the 2009-2010 Academic Year was $193,198 (Appendix E). These instruments are being used to equip the Nanomaterials & Nanobiomaterials Engineering Laboratory, and the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory that are under development at UB. Two grant applications were recently submitted to the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation program for funding to acquire additional pieces of equipment for these laboratories.

In early February 2010, the School of Engineering was informed that a $2.4 million grant had been awarded to a consortium, of which UB and the University of Hartford played the leading role, to develop the next-generation projectiles for the U.S. Army. An interim grant of $30,000 through Imperial Machines Co., Inc., has been awarded to conduct initial work on the major project until the appropriations funding is made available, expected for July 2010.

A proposed study, “NMR Detection of Graphene Nanoribbons”, was recently selected for a P30 grant from Yale University School of Medicine’s Magnetic Resonance Research Center. The P30 grant will cover all costs associated with these NMR scans, reagents used for sample preparation, and effort on the part of scientists, technicians, and/or engineers. The pilot study will provide data critical to the eventual application for funding to the National Institutes of Health. The application was selected through an extremely competitive process.

UB joined a national consortium of universities, headed by the University of Minnesota, as part of a successful grant application submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Strategic Training and Education in Power Systems program. The project, “A Nationwide Consortium of Universities to Revitalize Electric Power Engineering Education by State-of-the-Art Laboratories”, will facilitate the implementation of laboratories to create a new educational framework in power engineering that will transform undergraduate and graduate education and research in the areas of renewable energy and meet the challenges of making the grid cleaner, smarter, and more reliable. UB is one of 64 collaborating universities, and will be represented by two UB faculty members from the School of Engineering.

Currently, nine research applications are pending, for a total $1,426,440. (A list of awarded and pending are in Appendix F.)

UB has also contracted with a grant writing company to secure grant writers who are working with UB faculty to write four separate applications to the National Science Foundation’s Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (TUES) program. Each applicant is permitted to request up to $200,000 for a two or three-year project.

Once again, over $8 million of licenses and software was contributed for research and student use throughout Academic Year 2009-2010 by 19 companies (Appendix G).

^ Student Grants

An engineering graduate student has been awarded a $5,000 grant by the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium UTC Summer Internship. The student will work at a ten-week internship with Otis Elevator Company in the electrical and software standards group.

Undergraduate engineering students have been awarded a $4,500 grant by the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium to build a lunar excavator that will be entered into the NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition at Kennedy Space Center in Florida from May 25-28.

^ Faculty Expertise Searchable Database

UB faculty expertise and research interests can be searched by name, topics, areas of interest, or other terms, and is available to the UB community and the general public on the UB Graduate Studies and Research website. This is particularly useful for UB as research interests become more interdisciplinary, and useful to researchers at other institutions, as they seek for collaborative partners.

^ Faculty Scholarly Works

Eight journal articles have already been published by UB faculty in 2010, with 42 having been published in 2009 and 29 in 2008. In 2009, 87 conference papers were published by UB faculty (Appendix H). The Office of Sponsored Research provides proofreading services to support faculty publication efforts.

^ UB Faculty Works on UB Library Website

More than 400 digital copies of publications have been submitted by UB faculty members to the UB library. With the launch of the IT initiatives, the publications will be incorporated into a searchable database for use by UB students, faculty, and community.

^ Academic Program Development

The M.S. in Biomedical Engineering program has had a successful first year, with a current enrollment of more than 40 students.

A number of courses have been developed and are being offered or will be offered in nanotechnology and renewable energy to School of Engineering graduate students. Nanotechnology courses include: Introduction to Nanotechnology, Fundamental Analysis of Nanomaterials, Nanofabrication with Soft Materials, Polymer Nanocomposites, Biomedical Materials and Engineering, and Tissue Engineering. Renewal energy courses include: Fuel Cells, Sustainable Energy, and Sustainable Energy Laboratory.

The School of Engineering publishes a periodic newsletter to alumni and friends. The Summer 2010 issue contains considerable information on faculty and student achievements and new programs.

^ PowerPoint Presentation

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation created to accompany this report is attached (Appendix I).

Appendix A

Faculty Research Council Newsletter

Graduate Council Newsletter

UB Faculty Research Council Newsletter

March 1, 2010

News You Can Use

Graduate Studies and Research Website

There is a wealth of information and important links on the UB Graduate Studies and Research Website (including a link to the Faculty Research Council site). This can be accessed through Academics or Quicklinks on the UB website or by inserting the following into your browser: https://www.bridgeport.edu/gsr .

^ Proofreading/Editing Service

A freelance proofreader is available to proofread and provide edits for selected grant applications and articles for publication, as approved by Dr. Sobh. If you wish to use this person’s services, please contact Christine Hempowicz in the Office of Sponsored Research (x4973 or chemp@bridgeport.edu). Be advised that you will need to allow up to two weeks for this service, so plan accordingly.

^ Grant Writing Service

The Office of Sponsored Research has identified some independent grant writers that may be able to work with a principal investigator to write a less research-intensive grant such as for the National Science Foundation’s Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics grant. Please contact Christine Hempowicz (x4973 or chemp@bridgeport.edu) for more information.

^ Institutional Review Board

UB’s IRB has been registered with the Office of Human Subjects Protection, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All research projects utilizing human subjects must submit the appropriate documents to the IRB. Further information can be found at https://www.bridgeport.edu/IRB.

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