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Autumn receives National Science Foundation grant extension

February 17, 2012

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    Professor of Biology Kellar Autumn

Biology-Psychology Hall

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Kellar Autumn, Professor and Chair of Biology, a “special creativity extension” to his current Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant.

This award extends by two years one of Autumn’s current NSF-funded projects, “RUI: Comparative micromechanics of gecko setae: Effects of rate, substrate, and environment” and provides an additional $300,000 for research. This brings the total award to $607,680 over five years. To date, Autumn has received more than $3 million in grant funding for his research on gecko adhesion.

Special creativity extensions are not common. This funding mechanism is based on outstanding scientific progress achieved to date; according to NSF, the “objective of such extensions is to offer the most creative investigators an extended opportunity to attack adventurous, ‘high-risk’ opportunities in the same general research area.”

Autumn’s work will help advance the development of gecko-like synthetic adhesives and has the potential to transform understanding of the fundamental nature of friction. In addition, his research trains undergraduates in interdisciplinary science and educates the general public. Information about the original award (not yet including the new award) can be found here.

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