Despite a faltering national economy, UCD has set a new record in research funding for the 2007-2008 fiscal year that ended on June 30, receiving a total of $586,181,880.
“The figure represents an increase of $54 million or 10 percent over the previous year’s figure,” said Barry Klein, vice chancellor for research in the Office of Research at UCD in an e-mail interview.
All colleges and schools at UCD reported an increase in their research award numbers for the fiscal year.
This has been the fourth consecutive year that research funding at UC Davis has surpassed the half billion dollar mark.
UCD ranks 10th nationally among public universities and 16th nationally overall in the level of funding for research and development expenditures that it receives in comparison to other U.S. universities, according to statistics compiled by the National Science Foundation.
Among the UCs, Davis is expected to rank fourth in funding, behind UC San Francisco, UCLA and UC San Diego.
“During my time as vice chancellor, the level of research funding has been increasing, approximately doubling over the past seven years,” Klein said.
Research supported by this year’s funding include $3.1 million over five years from the National Science Foundation toward training graduate students in fields relating to biofuel and biotechnology. The U.S. Department of Energy also awarded $768,000 over three years to develop solar panel technologies and the National Institutes of Health gave $600,000 to assess correlations between vitamin D deficiency and disease.
The federal government accounted for approximately half of the funding, contributing over $287 million. Other prominent sponsors included: the state of California at $108 million, private business at $50 million, other institutes of higher education gave $30 million and various foundations gave $30 million.
Federal funding for the campus has increased by approximately 11 percent from the previous year, while funds from private businesses have increased by over 40 percent.
“At UC Davis, we are experiencing tremendous momentum in our research awards and in our effectiveness in doing research that matters for people,” Klein said. “It is through the excellence of our community of scholars that research funding has reached a new high.“
The majority of federal funding came from the department of Health and Human Services, at $175 million, and the NSF at $42 million.
“Most of our funding comes from the NSF,” said Bethany Daniels, with the communications office of the School of Biological Sciences. “The funding has been steady and dependable over the past few years, coming from the same sources, which is good for our researchers.“
The School of Medicine received the most funding, listing an award total of $172 million. Next highest was the college of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, which received $94 million.
Research funding supports not only the direct cost of research, lab equipments and researcher’s salaries, but also indirect costs like upkeep and utility expenses of laboratories, the investigators who secure grants and the salaries for some faculty and staff.
“Our campus has transformed itself over the past 100 years and has served as an engine for innovation and for ideas that have improved the quality of life for people everywhere,” Klein said. “As we enter our second century, we will continue our dedication to discover what matters to society.“
CHARLES HINRIKSSON can be reached at email@example.com.