The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is sharing a $6 million grant with the University of Delaware-Newark and the University of Nevada-Reno. The funding comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The money will help UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior and similar centers in Delaware and Nevada.
Dr. Matt Johnson, assistant professor of psychology at UNL, says the three programs are relatively new with great resources, but they need to grow.
“The idea here is that we kind of combine forces and leapfrog some of the early stages of building up and building out,” Johnson tells Nebraska Radio Network.
He says that includes investing in training and human capital.
“Really try to accelerate the state of the field (of psychology) in Nebraska and Nevada and Delaware,” Johnson says.
Dr. Mike Dodd, associate professor of psychology at UNL, says going to the next level should lead to new discoveries from researchers, and better training for students.
“We can only offer our graduate students the technologies that we have here and the skills that we have, but by combining forces, we hope that we can also train them in new areas,” Dodd tells Nebraska Radio Network.
“[Graduate students are] definitely a lot of work, but it’s rewarding work that you want to do. You want to position them to be as good as they can, so they can go out and get jobs and do quality science going forward.”
So, despite the roughly 1,400 miles from Lincoln to Reno, or the 1,200 mile span the other way to Newark, a larger, unified research group is the end result.
“We’re going to kind of teach each other and collaborate with each other so we can work on things in our common interests,” Johnson says, “but then share knowledge, which is not common between us.”
Community outreach is another part of the grant.
“When you see a lot of this type of work happen, it can be very complex and very hard to understand, “ according to Dodd, “but there’s great interest in it at the university level and also throughout the community.”
The NSF funding covers a four-year period.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:44]