UI research funding tops $400 million for fifth year

UI research funding tops $400 million for fifth year

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Researchers increase funding share from industrial and philanthropic sources

The University of Iowa topped $400 million in external research funding for the fifth consecutive year, fueled by gains in corporate, industry and philanthropic funding that helped offset cutbacks in federal research funding amid tight budgets and the government-mandated sequestration.

The UI’s total share of external funding for fiscal 2013 was $424 million. UI researchers landed 2,130 grant and contract awards, a record for the second straight year when excluding stimulus-funded projects. The fiscal year ended June 30.

The gains come despite curtailments in federal grant awards, as funding agencies—from the National Institutes of Health to the National Science Foundation—contend with mandated five-percent cuts to their budgets triggered by the federal budget sequestration.

Despite the agency cutbacks, UI researchers proved resilient and creative, pursuing new revenue streams and increasing their share of funding from corporate, industrial and philanthropic sources. In fiscal 2013, UI researchers earned $62 million in corporate and industrial funding, $10 million more than the previous fiscal year, or an increase of 17 percent. Funding from foundation and nonprofits also rose, to $46 million from $44 million in fiscal 2012, an increase of 5 percent.

“I am especially pleased to see an uptick in research collaboration with industry. Increasing partnerships with the private sector is essential to our broader goal of fostering a culture of innovation at the University of Iowa and across the state.”
- Daniel Reed, UI vice president for research and economic development

Daniel Reed, the UI’s vice president for research and economic development who came to the university last October from Microsoft Corp., said he was pleased researchers were seeking new and expanded partnerships with nonfederal entities.

“Diversification is one of the keys to success, in business and academia," says Reed, who was in charge of emerging technologies at Microsoft. "I am especially pleased to see an uptick in research collaboration with industry. Increasing partnerships with the private sector is essential to our broader goal of fostering a culture of innovation at the University of Iowa and across the state.”

Other highlights in the fiscal 2013 funding report:

• The Carver College of Medicine increased its total grant and contract funding by $12 million. Expected declines in federal monies were more than offset by the college’s gains in industry funding (up $12 million) and private sources (up $7 million)

• Researchers found 183 new funding sponsors in fiscal 2013. One such example is a $1.6 million grant obtained by epidemiologist Ryan Carnahan from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study improved dementia care for rural older adults and for Spanish speakers in particular.

Looking ahead, the federal funding climate looks cloudy at best. The effects of the sequestration, combined with the slow economic recovery, may mean flat or even reduced funding from federal agencies for the next several years. Yet Reed is confident the university research enterprise is well positioned to withstand turbulence at the federal level.

“Our faculty have demonstrated resilience in an increasingly competitive research funding climate. We are taking steps to help them further diversify the portfolio of funders supporting their research, scholarship and creative activities in the future,” he says.

University of Iowa Sponsored Funding
Federal agency
FY13
Dept. of Defense
$8,708,878
Dept. of Health and Human Services
$188,447,307
Dept. of Education
$20,190,192
Dept. of Energy
$2,354,847
National Science Foundation
$12,743,045
NASA
$3,931,427
Other
$10,110,029
Subtotal
$246,485,726

Non-federal agency
FY13
State & local governments
$40,807,063
Businesses, corporations
$62,021,115
Foundations, associations
$45,805,664
Universities, academic hospitals
$28,856,804
Other
$131,692
Subtotal
$177,622,338

University of Iowa Sponsored Funding
FY13
Sponsored funding total
$424,108,064

Contacts

Daniel Reed, Office of Vice President for Research and Economic Development, 319-335-2132
Richard Lewis, University Communication and Marketing, 319-384-0012

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