OARnet awarded National Science Foundation grant to develop STEM training and research resources for higher education

Facing a growing need for secured education cyberinfrastructure, OARnet and partners will develop the Virtual Research-Education Ohio (VROhio) program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded OARnet a planning grant to develop a network of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training and research resources for smaller higher education institutions in the state of Ohio.

In December 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine allocated $12.1 million through the Governors Emergency Education Relief program to upgrade OARnet’s last-mile internet connections to 40 colleges and universities.

To make best use of the upgraded internet capabilities, OARnet and partners will develop new STEM training and research resources, to be known as the Virtual Research-Education Ohio (VROhio) program, that can be shared among institutions. Colleges and universities are facing a growing need for secured cyberinfrastructure to support both in-person and remote STEM education.

“OARnet is grateful to the Ohio Department of Higher Education for identifying and supporting critical cyberinfrastructure needs,” said Pankaj Shah, executive director of OARnet and primary investigator on the NSF grant. “The National Science Foundation planning grant will help us create a solid foundation on which we can develop a full network of resources that will allow smaller colleges and universities to elevate their STEM education offerings, for the benefit of the state of Ohio.”

[Read full press release at OARnet | News]