University of Iowa's external research funding tops $400 million

Researchers set record again in FY 2013 with 2,130 grant and contract awards

External research funding at the University of Iowa declined slightly in Fiscal Year 2013, but still topped $400 million for the fifth consecutive year, officials said Thursday.

Research funding from the federal government declined by about $30 million to the UI, but gains in corporate, industry and philanthropic funding helped offset those cutbacks in federal money, officials said.

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

The total research funding in FY 2013 was a 3.2 percent decline from Fiscal Year 2012, when the total was $438.1 million, officials said. That decrease stems partly from the federal government sequestration, which was a 5 percent hit to federal agency research budgets, said Dan Reed, UI vice president for research and economic development.

"In general it's due to a collective tightening of what the federal research budget looks like," he said.

But UI researchers turned to other sources in the face of those cuts, he said. In 2012-13, UI researchers earned $62 million in corporate and industrial funding, $10 million more than the previous fiscal year. Funding from foundation and nonprofits also rose, to $46 million from $44 million.

"The faculty have been very resilient in portfolio diversification, and research is no different," Reed said. "I would say that most expectations are that the federal funding climate will remain challenging for the next several years."

Sponsored funding from the federal government totaled $246.5 million in FY 13, with $188 million of that coming from the Department of Health and Human Services, the largest federal source of research funding to the UI. That's compared to the $276.5 million in research funding provided by the federal government in FY 2012, a decrease of about 11 percent.

Iowa State University officials said they expect to announce their sponsored research funding totals next week.

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