May 22, 2018 Melissa Lamar

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Tunxis Community College is among a group of higher education partners which has been awarded $237,069 for the first year of a “Partnership in Innovation and Education (PIE)” grant from CTNext to provide college students with hands-on research opportunities in bioscience and health-related fields.

Tunxis is the only community college in the consortium of seven Connecticut higher education partners for the three-year grant program, led by University of Connecticut.

Those students chosen to participate will be matched with host research laboratories for summer- or semester-long mentored research, where they will work with mentor faculty. They will also attend weekly seminars on bioinnovation and a research symposium at the end of their research. The 10-week summer research fellowship program, runs May 29 to August 3.

Student research projects will focus on basic, translational and commercializable research that could lead to future therapies, diagnostics, devices, or services.

“Our grant program focuses on research opportunities which are not common for CT Community College students or for community college students nationally,” said Leigh Knopf, Tunxis director of institutional advancement. “By immersing students in hands-on laboratory research, they will further develop their skills in inquiry, problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis.”

Students who participate in semester-length research will receive academic credit, and those selected for summer research will receive a partnership-funded fellowship in bioscience, health technology or bioengineering. Students will be encouraged to continue their research project with their host lab during the academic year through independent study credits.

Tunxis Community College in Farmington offers over 60 associate degrees and certificates, including science, engineering and technology, and health emphases. Tunxis is also the recipient of a $2.4 million National Science Foundation grant that established the College of Technology’s Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, an NSF Center of Excellence. For more information on programs at Tunxis, call 860.773.1490, or visit

The Partnership for Innovation and Education (PIE) was formed with support from CTNext and Connecticut Innovations through the CTNext Higher Education Initiative. The PIE program lead institution is University of Connecticut.