UK research funding exceeds $300 million



By According to the UK news release, UK faculty and staff successfully competed for and were awarded $227,084,369 in grants and contracts from federal agencies.

A large part of the awarded amount comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provided $64.5 million in stimulus dollars to UK.

The ARRA website explains one of the major initiatives of the stimulus is to increase federal funds for education. The U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama passed ARRA in February 2009 as a direct response to the economic crisis to, among other reasons, spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth, targeting infrastructure and enhancement.

The university news release said although the ARRA contribution accounted for much of the 2010 fiscal year’s boost, other awards aside from ARRA are up more than 7 percent and federal award amounts have had an increase of almost 20 percent.

UK Vice President for Research James Tracy said between the ARRA contribution and other funding sources, UK is ahead of most Southeastern Conference schools.

Tracy said two-thirds of the research funding came from the federal government.  Other major contributing agencies include the National Institute of Health, whose contribution makes up approximately 55 percent of the $337,623,982 grand total.  The National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture were major contributors, in terms of agency size, and the U.S. Departments of Energy and Commerce were notable in terms of the total amount of money given.

“The National Science Foundation tracks research expenditures by universities. Its last available numbers were released in 2008, and at that time UK was ranked number 36 among all other research universities,” Tracy said.

This milestone is in line with Todd’s Top 20 Business Plan goals.

Tracy explained that according to the top-20 plan, the target value for research is $600 million per year by 2020. He said that would be challenging, however, in part because that depends on the ability to add faculty and space to the university and Kentucky’s state budget has tightened educational funding.

Tracy was optimistic that UK can still accomplish the top-20 plan initiatives, though.

“President Todd is excited. We all are,” Tracy said. “It’s good to be heading in that direction because of the tremendous increase in funding, all thanks to the efforts of our esteemed faculty.”

“As excited as I am about the data, I am more excited about what this funding means to Kentucky’s economy,” Todd said in the news release. “Most of those dollars came from out-of-state sources, providing a major boost to the Commonwealth’s economy.

“And with the university working harder than ever to commercialize our discoveries and innovations, the impact will be felt for years to come.”