ASU Receives $400,000 NSF Research and Learning Grant

News Date
mishra manoj

Written by Media Relations Specialist Hazel Scott 

Alabama State University has received a three-year, $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to transform biology learning by developing evidenced-based research and learning (EBRL) for undergraduate biology students.

ASU researcher Dr. Manoj Mishra, professor of biology and the director of Cancer Biology Research and Training (CBRT) and the Freshmen Biology program, is the principal investigator for this grant and Dr. Sabita Saldanha, an assistant professor of biology at ASU, is the co-principal investigator.

“It was exciting to hear the great news about the grant,” Mishra said. “This proposal will impact a vast number of undergraduate students who will directly benefit from this project.”

The grant will provide an opportunity to develop an evidenced-based curriculum in biology labs, provide yearlong research experience to five meritorious students in different areas of biology, and help in increasing the research and teaching infrastructure in biology labs.

“The proposed program will play a significant role in improving the biology curriculum in gatekeeper courses as well as enhance the recruitment, retention and graduation of students from underrepresented groups, including women and ethnic minorities, at ASU,” Mishra said. “It is anticipated this will also increase the research capacity at ASU and produce STEM students who will meet the nation's needs in biological sciences.” 

The broader impact of this proposal will advance the understanding of biological teaching and research pedagogy.   

Mishra said ASU’s proposal was selected due to the University’s strength in the STEM field.

“Our proposal was chosen perhaps for its innovative EBRL, which will boost confidence and motivation of our students by creating a supportive community and exposure to research that will encourage persistence in biology, in other STEM disciplines and improve retention and graduation rates in the STEM areas,” Mishra said.

The proposal will serve as a model for other STEM departments at ASU and other HBCUs, Mishra said.

“If successful, this will serve as a model to engage students either in the classroom setting or online. The problems of teaching a large number of introductory biology labs go beyond HBCUs,” Mishra said.

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104