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September 15, 2010

Research funding climbs to historic levels

Total research funding to the University jumped by 18 percent in 2010 to $415 million—an increase of more than $64 million over the previous year and an amount that is double what the University received 11 years ago.

“This growth in research funding is extraordinary, particularly given the economic climate in which it occurred,” says President Joel Seligman. “It is a testament to not only the talent of the University’s scientific community, but it also represents an affirmation of the strategic investments in research infrastructure made by this institution with public and private support.”

During the same period, the University was also awarded an additional $42.7 million in research funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These funds were intended to provide an important, but temporary, boost in academic and development activity and are set to expire in 2011. The University’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
The University witnessed growth from all federal sources and across nearly all divisions. Excluding ARRA, research funding from major sources such as the National Institutes of Health ($211 million), the National Science Foundation ($16 million), and the Department of Energy ($73 million) grew by 17 percent, 34 percent, and 29 percent, respectively. The University also was awarded $8 million in funding from the Empire State Stem Cell Board in 2010.

Again, excluding ARRA, awards to the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences rose by 37 percent, with the Departments of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering showing a combined increase of $5.5 million. The School of Arts and Sciences was up by 26 percent, propelled by the Departments of Biology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Chemistry, and Clinical and Social Psychology, which collectively received $26.7 million in 2010. The Medical Center—which experienced growth in the key fields such as neuromedicine, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disease, pediatrics, cancer, and immunology and infectious disease—saw its research funding jump by $35.7 million over the previous year.
“Pound for pound, our faculty are among the most successful and productive in the nation in attracting research dollars,” says Ralph Kuncl, University provost. “Research and development funding is the lifeblood of innovation, and the University of Rochester has a strong track record of leveraging its research activity into new ideas and technologies that both benefit the greater society and strengthen the local region’s economy.”

Over the last several years, the University has made significant new investments in research facilities, including the Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics, the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, the Sproull Center for Ultra High Intensity Laser Research, and the new James P. Wilmot Cancer Center. Next year, the University will open the doors on the new Clinical and Translational Science Building.

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