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Stem Catalyst Initiative

Faculty and Staff STEM Research

The STEM Catalyst Initiative was created to invest in and support faculty and student STEM research at the University of Dayton. The STEM Catalyst Initiative awards faculty and student research projects that aspire to address societal and public health issues in support of our University goal to become "The University for the Common Good."

Application Deadlines

We invite your applications for STEM Catalyst Grants — a competitive research grant program across the sciences, engineering and mathematics. The award is intended to advance new and existing research programs that have the potential to rise to national prominence. 

  • The program will support research from May 17, 2021 to May 16, 2022.
  • Proposals will be considered in two award levels. We anticipate funding multiple proposals of focused-to-moderate scope or collaboration ($10,000 - $50,000). These proposals must be received by Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Proposals should articulate how the research advances the University of Dayton’s commitment to the common good. Proposals advancing the University’s strategic priorities of autonomous systems, health and biosciences, and sustainability and human rights are particularly encouraged, as are proposals from collaborative teams addressing multidisciplinary challenges.
  • The grants are offered through a collaborative effort among the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and Office of the Provost.
  • All faculty — tenured, tenure track, and non-tenure track — are encouraged to apply.

2020-2021 Stem Catalyst Information

The current global health crisis and national state of emergency has created an uncertain financial outlook at many institutions, including the University of Dayton, requiring urgent budget reduction measures.  While we have completed this year’s application review process, we are unable to commit to fund Catalyst awards for the 2020-21 cycle. We share here a list of the top scoring proposals as 2020-21 honorees, and will support these projects in the event the current situation improves and funding becomes available in the fall.  

The 2020-21 STEM Catalyst honorees:

  • Sidaard Gunasekaran, Barath Narayanan: Deep Learning Algorithm for Atomization Characterization using Shadowgraph Images: A Novel Approach for Spray Drift Analysis
  • Carissa Krane, Jeremy Erb: Frozen Alive: How the Biochemistry and Biophysics of Cellular Membranes Enhance Freeze Tolerance
  • Kristen Krupa-Comfort, Jayne Robinson: Combinatorial Antibacterial Effectiveness of Novel Therapeutics in an Enhanced Human Lung In Vitro Model
  • Erin O'Mara, Jackson Goodnight: Examining the Role of Pregnancy and Reproductive Experiences in the Onset of Autoimmune Diseases: A Test of the Pregnancy Compensation Hypothesis
  • Chenglong Zhao, Ju Shen:Machine Learning and Big Data for Rapid Drug Identification

Please join us in recognizing these honorees. These teams detailed a specific and compelling vision for advancing research within their disciplines, aligning with University strategic priorities, and transitioning their program to external sponsorship.


Eddy Rojas, School of Engineering

Jason Pierce, College of Arts & Sciences  


Please direct your questions to Doug Daniels at or Don Pair at

We are excited about this opportunity to advance STEM research at the University and welcome applications.


School of Engineering Associate Deans

Kettering Laboratories
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0254