UNC Research Funding Up 12.2 Percent to $803 Million

Carolina’s research grants and contracts totaled $803 million in fiscal 2010, the largest amount in campus history.

The figure is a 12.2 percent increase from the $716 million received last year. The contracts and grants come primarily from the federal government – especially the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation. The NIH is traditionally the University’s largest source of research funding.

Of the total, $126 million came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the stimulus bill. In the 12-month period, 308 UNC projects were selected for ARRA funding, taking to 319 the total number of ARRA-funded projects selected between the start of the federal initiative in February 2009 and the end of fiscal 2010.

Results from top-performing University units in fiscal 2010 included the College of Arts and Sciences (up 48.3 percent to $88 million) and the School of Medicine (up 21.3 percent to $424.3 million). Among individual departments and UNC-based centers and institutes, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center ($60.6 million) and the Carolina Population Center ($47.7 million) had the highest research awards totals.

“Given the current economic climate, it’s impressive that we’ve continued to keep growing the pool of research funding here at UNC,” said Barbara Entwisle, interim vice chancellor for research and economic development, noting that fiscal year totals have maintained an upward trend since 1996, when the annual tally amounted to slightly less than $249 million.

“These results reflect the caliber, effort and initiative of the University’s faculty and research support staff,” Entwisle said. “We’re fortunate to have some of the world’s brightest minds working on solutions to some of the planet’s most challenging problems, and helping position the state of North Carolina as an internationally recognized hotbed of innovation and enterprise.”

In many cases, researchers from multiple University schools, departments and units collaborate on research grants, contracts and studies. That approach reflects the University’s emphasis on interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship between and among the health, natural and social sciences, as well as the liberal arts and the humanities.

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