World Class Scholars

Recognizing the vital role that research “talent” at public universities plays in growing a knowledge-based innovation economy, the Florida Legislature set aside $20 million in 2006 to establish the 21st Century World Class Scholars program. Designed to recruit and retain the very best faculty in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at universities in Florida, the World Class Scholars program serves to both attract new research opportunities and to add prestige to existing university research programs.

As a result of this appropriation, five public universities – University of Florida, Florida State University, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, and Florida International University – have been able to recruit and employ a total of 16 World Class Scholars, whose research encompasses such varied disciplines as behavioral science, biodefense, molecular genetics, functional genomics, materials science, applied superconductivity, pattern recognition, signal processing, photonics, and bionanotechnology.