Research Awards and Recognition

RIT became recognized as a doctoral university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in 2016 because of its growing research activity.

A bar chart showing the amount of sponsored research dollars awarded to RIT researchers. The totals are as fallows, in millions of dollars: 2015 63; 2016 73; 2017 61; 2018 78; 2019 74.

Sponsored research awards

In millions of dollars

A bar chart showing the amount of money RIT has invested in research over the past 5 years, in millions of dollars. The totals are as follows: 2015, 40.4; 2016, 45.5; 2017, 51.3; 2018, 49.4; 2019, estimated 58.

Research Expenditures

In millions of dollars

A bar chart showing a breakdown of the award amount by federal sponsor (in millions of dollars). The data is as follows: NSF, 11.52; Defense, 8.03; Health, 6.1; Education, 3.11; NASA, 2.16; Energy, 1.1; Justice, 1.08; Other, 2.28.

FY19 federal awards by agency

In millions of dollars

Major Grants

  • February 14, 2020

    researcher posing on coast of Adriatic Sea in Croatia.

    Researching food waste

    Tourism has surged in Croatia in recent years, bringing with it direct economic benefits but also challenging the preservation of the natural systems that make the Adriatic Coast region so attractive to visitors. Callie Babbitt, an associate professor in RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, is using a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to study sustainable solutions addressing the growing challenge of food waste management along Croatia’s Adriatic Coast.

  • December 6, 2019

    Jeanne Christman.

    RIT receives funding for Engineering Technology Scholars

    The National Science Foundation awarded RIT’s College of Engineering Technology nearly $1 million to fund 36 scholarships for economically disadvantaged, academically talented students and to develop faculty programming to improve engineering technology education.

  • October 21, 2019

    Moumita Das in lobby of College of Science.

    RIT researcher receives NSF grant to help build a synthetic neuron and neural network

    Researchers from RIT and six other universities are teaming up to build synthetic neurons and a programmable network of such neurons in an effort to better understand the rules of life. The project is part of the National Science Foundation’s “Big Ideas” initiative— 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering.



For “Synthesizing Architectural Tactics”


For “Computational Model of Perceived Color and Appearance in Augmented Reality”


For “A Computational Approach to the Study of Behavior and Social Interaction”


For “Learning to Solve Problems in context-rich environments: A Naturalistic study in STEM Workplaces, research labs, project-based and lab courses”


For “Development of High-Efficiency Ultraviolet Optoelectronics”


For “Energy-Efficient Datacenters with Wireless Interconnection Networks”


For “Magnetcaloric Effect in Metallic Nanostructures”


For “Theory of Optomechanical Nanorotation Sensing – Approaching the Quantum Regime”


For “Integrating Physical Models into Data-Driven Inference”


For “Strain Balanced Quantum Dots for high Concentration Photovoltaics”


For “Graphics: Gaze Manipulation”


For “Deaf Children and Young Adults: Predicting School, College and Labor Success”

PI Millionaires

Since 2000, RIT has recognized principal investigators and researchers who have achieved $1 million or more in funding by inducting them into a class of “PI Millionaires.”

Current faculty in this group include:

Seed Funding

RIT awards researchers seed funding of $5,000 for proposals written during the fall semester and later refined over the course of a two-day Grant Writers’ Boot Camp.

For “Creating Informed and Engaged End Users in High-Performance Campus Buildings for Improved Energy Efficiency and Enhanced Comfort”

For “Wearable Technologies and Consumer Engagement in Social Media”

For “Monitoring and Improving Length of Stay and Readmission Rates Using Learn Management Techniques”

For “Advancing Culturally Relevant STEM Learning Experiences for Underrepresented Students”

For “The Use of Keyword Error Rate to Determine the Quality of Automated Speech Recognition Systems”

For “Highly Efficient Capture and Detection of Deadly Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) via Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Heirarchical Nanostructures”

For “Development of Bioplastic Packaging Solution for the Transport of Apples”

For “Learning to Sign Before Birth”

For “Chasing Ancestors, Part 2: Searching for the origins of American Sign Language in East Anglia, 1620-1851”

For “Vision-based Few-Shot Prediction via Adversarial Similarity Networks”

For “A Principled Model Selection Method for Deep Learning in Protein Function Analysis”

For “Robotic Collaborative Perception and object Manipulation for Effective and Affordable Elder Care”

For “Arctic Sea Ice Image Reconstruction and Localization”

For “Integrating dynamical systems and machine learning to study paleoclimate data”

For “Benchmarking Integration of Relational and Non-Relational Data Systems”

For “Principedia: A Privacy Incidents Community Platform”

For “Neurocognitively-Motivated Conversational Assistants Based on Distribution Representations”

For “Framework for Development of Impact Calculator for Cleaning Methods”

For “Implicit Gender Biases and Decision-Making in Professional Software Development”

For “Enabling Trusted Computing on Industrial IoT Devices: Software-only TPM on Microcontrollers”

NIH Boot Camp Seed Funding

RIT also offers an advanced boot camp focused on the National Institutes of Health. Participants in the NIH Boot Camp submitted proposals for seed funding to help develop competitive proposals or revise proposals to specific NIH programs in the coming year. 2019 awardees will receive up to $10,000 and include:

Kate Gleason College of Engineering

College of Health Sciences and Technology

Kate Gleason College of Engineering

College of Health Sciences and Technology