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NMSU extends 100 in October Challenge, lauds research pursuits

While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many challenges and uncertainties, New Mexico State University is supporting faculty, researchers, scholars and artists who are working on proposal development and writing during this time with the 100 in October Challenge. With an extended deadline of Nov. 30, the challenge offers an incentive of a $250 stipend and up to $1,000 in indirect cost from an award for each principal investigator or co-principal investigator who submits a proposal for research or creativity activity funding.


Person walks on NMSU campus during the fall season.
The 100 in October Challenge, which has been extended through the end of November, rewards New Mexico State University faculty, researchers, scholars and artists who are working on proposal development and writing. (NMSU photo by Karrie Lucero)

Luis Cifuentes, vice president for research and dean of the graduate school, said the challenge was created to honor faculty and staff who are helping to achieve one of NMSU’s LEADS 2025 goals, the highest Carnegie research status, R1.

“This is representative of the appreciation we have for our faculty and researchers, scholars and creative people, but it’s also representative of the culture change that is part of what it takes to become an R1.”

For NMSU to earn an R1 designation as a national top tier research institution from Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the university has to achieve primary metrics such as reported expenditures in research and doctoral graduates. Cifuentes said he is proud of how the university research community is working together.

“We’re pushing hard,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can. That means we have to find ways to make it easier for faculty to put the time and effort it takes to write proposals. My staff is working extremely hard. The 100 in October is a way to recognize and celebrate. We are asking people to do more at a time when everybody is being asked to do more.”

NMSU has made significant increases in research and creativity aspects. As a system, NMSU recorded a 44.1 percent increase in total amount requested, $336,680,700, in fiscal year 2019. The NMSU system also had a 17.4 percent increase in total proposal submissions with 729, and 15.6 percent increase in total awards with $118,596,163 fiscal year 2019.

Increases in research funding not only help the university move closer to its goal of R1 status, it also has an economic affect in the community.

“A significant percentage of funding that comes to a university is spent locally,” Cifuentes said. “It’s an economic driver. When we receive an increase in funding at the university there’s a multiplier in the impact it has in the community so it benefits everyone. It hires a lot of people such as research staff, scholars, graduate students and undergraduate students.”

To learn more about the 100 in October Challenge visit https://research.nmsu.edu/100inoctober.html.