FAMU Announces Record $96.4M in Research Awards in Push to Carnegie R-1 Status

August 15, 2023

Florida A&M University (FAMU) reported a record $96.4 million in research awards for the fiscal year ending June 30, as the University pushes for Carnegie R-1 status.

President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., a scientist and principal investigator on a five-year, $30 million National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration research grant, called the University’s research accomplishments impressive. He applauded FAMU faculty, along with Charles Weatherford, Ph.D., vice president for Research, and his staff, for making this possible.  

“These funds show the commitment of our faculty and staff to use their knowledge and expertise to address the complex issues we face in society and as a nation,” Robinson said. “It is equally impressive how faculty members use these funds to prepare FAMU students to be the next generation of scientists, engineers, and problem solvers in general. We are well on our way toward reaching Carnegie Research-1 status.” 

Among the areas of strongest showing were administration, which includes Title III and the FAMU Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative (MMERI), secured $28.7 million in research funding; the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences – $22 million, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering- $16.1 million, and the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Institute of Public Health – $8.9 million.


Professor Lambert Kanga’s $10 million award topped the research grants for fiscal year 2023

Weatherford said the University has broken its records for total awards, research and development (R&D) spending, and total grant and contract submission amounts, for four consecutive years.

During fiscal year 2023, the University had $63.5 million in research and development spending and $346 million in grant submissions.

“Comparing with existing R1s, FAMU is well within the R1 criteria on these research metrics,” said Weatherford, who is the principal investigator on a five-year, $1 million per year National Nuclear Security Agency grant. “Compared with other HBCUs, FAMU has ranked one or two in these award metrics over the last four years. We are optimistic that FAMU will reach Carnegie R1 in 2024.”

FAMU has set a goal of reaching a Carnegie R1 classification -Very High Research Activity- by 2030. The University is currently ranked Carnegie R2 (High Research Activity). The Carnegie Foundation evaluates the research activity of academic institutions every three years and will do so again in 2024. No Historically Black College or University (HBCU) is ranked R1, Weatherford said.

The Top Five Research Awards

Professor Lambert Kanga, Ph.D., College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, “Developing the Next Generation of Minority Leaders in Pest Management for Agriculture and Food in a Changing Climate,” $10 million.

Robert Seniors, vice president/chief information officer, “Building a Digital Pipeline for Prosperity,” $5.4 million.

Larry Robinson, NOAA Center for Marine and Coastal Ecosystems II, $3.9 million

FAMU Center for Health Disparities, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health, $3.2 million.

Valencia Matthews, Ph.D., dean of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, “Stories of Inspiration,” $2 million.