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University of Iowa News Release


July 23, 2008

Click for an audio recording of Interim Vice President for Research Jordan Cohen presenting the annual report of external grants and contracts.

UI external support is a record $386.2 million for 2007-08

University of Iowa faculty, together with staff and students, generated an all-time record $386.2 million in grants and contracts for UI research, education and service during fiscal 2008, a 2.2 percent increase from 2007.

"This impressive continuing level of success in extramural research funding, especially in the face of growing competition and shrinking funding nationally, is a tribute to the quality of faculty, staff and students at our university," said Jordan Cohen, interim vice president for research.

"Even more extraordinary than the magnitude of our collective funding is the breadth of excellence that is continuously demonstrated here in research, scholarship and creative activities. Our faculty are recognized nationally as leaders in the arts, healthcare, humanities and the basic and applied sciences, and increasingly contribute to the quality of life for Iowans through their research, teaching, outreach and economic development activities," he said.

The total for fiscal 2008, the 12-month period ending June 30, 2008, exceeded one-third of a billion dollars for the seventh consecutive year and also marked the 22nd consecutive year in which the UI has attracted more than $100 million in external support. Since 1967, when overall records were first kept, the university has attracted $6.3 billion in total external support.

According to the most recent National Science Foundation survey (2006), the UI is ranked 18th among public universities in terms of federally financed expenditures for research and development. In the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2005 report, the UI ranks 13th in NIH awards among all public universities.

UI President Sally Mason said, "Day in and day out, our faculty, staff, and students demonstrate their deep commitments to the discovery of knowledge through their accomplishments and their dedication to the public good. This new record-setting year in grants and contracts shows how remarkable that commitment is and how determined we are to continuously challenge ourselves to greater and greater success. I am proud of and thankful for the talent and effort that everyone has shared with the university, the state, and the nation to make this milestone possible."

Derek H. Willard, special assistant to the president for governmental relations and associate vice president for research, noted that while the federal investment in the National Science Foundation had increased, research funding available to researchers through the NIH had actually decreased in inflation-adjusted dollars over the past five years. "In such a difficult funding environment, the achievement is even more remarkable. We especially thank the leadership of the Iowa delegation for supporting federally funded research as a major driving force of the nation's economic growth and well-being, he said."

The principal external funding sources for UI research and development during fiscal 2008 (compared to fiscal 2007 amounts) were:

--Department of Health & Human Services (includes NIH): $204.4 million (up 6.5 percent)

--National Science Foundation: $9.0 million (down 29.1 percent)

--NASA: $8.4 million (up 6.8 percent)

--Department of Education: $13.7 million (down 19.0 percent)

--Department of Defense: $8.0 million (down 39.2 percent)

--Miscellaneous Federal: $16.7 million (up 45.5 percent)

--States: $31.8 million (down 7.1 percent)

--Industry: $36.3 million (down 6.8 percent)

--Private Organizations: $33.6 million (up 2.0 percent)

--Other Nonfederal: $24.3 million (up 38.5 percent)

Twila Reighley, director of the UI Division of Sponsored Programs, noted that grant applications increased by 3 percent in the past fiscal year and added, "We are thankful that, faced with the challenges of stagnant and declining levels of federal research funding, UI faculty, staff, and students have been creative and persistent in their efforts to secure external funding. The grant application is that critical first step in sustaining and strengthening the research mission of our dynamic campus, fueling the UI's scholarly projects and educational endeavors."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One,
Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jordan Cohen, interim vice president for research, 319-335-2132,; Derek Willard, special assistant to the president for governmental relations and associate vice president for research, 319-530-0902; Writer: Gary Galluzzo.