Utah State University has once again closed the fiscal year with record-breaking research funding, totaling $232 million in sponsored awards. The influx follows a 12-percent increase in research funding to academic colleges, a total of $111 million.
Sponsored awards include research grants for campus and the USU Research Foundation, federal allocations from formula funds and federal student financial aid. The Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Health and Human Services are major sources of USU’s federal funding.
“We are thrilled to announce another record year of research funding because it means our hard working and innovative research faculty and students have more resources than ever before,” said USU President Stan Albrecht. “Looking beyond the numbers, this means we are better positioned to accomplish our statewide land-grant mission.”
Even in a nationally competitive environment, USU continues to see strong growth in funding for on-campus research. Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services saw a 47-percent increase of more than $12 million in sponsored awards from last year. Additionally, the Caine College of the Arts received a significant boost in their relative sponsored awards, with an increase of 400 percent. USU Extension reached a $13 million funding level, more than triple the amount for fiscal year 2014. “This speaks to the university’s commitment to being a top research university with an extraordinary commitment to our land-grant mission,” said Vice President for Research and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Mark McLellan.
Building upon a remarkable research infrastructure that helps us train the next generation of scientists, this year USU opened a new Microscopy Core Facility with state of the art instruments to help understand everything from cell disease to earthquake models. Professor Alexis Ault, geologist, lead the fault zone research using this new center. Additionally, we built a new Electric Vehicle Research Center that allows us to study power systems, transportation modes and vehicle systems. Professor Regan Zane attracted major federal competitive grants to fund breakthrough research in this new vehicle research center.
USU continues to strive for excellence in research by improving the research experience for faculty members and students, especially in the areas of responsible conduct of research. “We’re continuing our effort to align closely with federal guidelines and conduct the safest, most ethical research possible,” said McLellan. “We want Utah State to be a vanguard of examining our processes and focusing on the role of individual researchers to ensure a safe research environment.”
Additionally, USU will begin working closely with the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs to renew its accreditation in the year 2015-2016. “We are looking forward to working with AHRPP to improve and increase campus safety by focusing on the role of the individual having specific duties to ensure a safe research environment,” said Associate Vice President for Research Jeff Broadbent. “Such an environment breeds for excellence in research.”