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Record year: UCD passes Cal in research dollars

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From page A1 | November 01, 2012 |

UC Davis hauled in a record $750 million in outside research funding last year, passing UC Berkeley to rank fourth among UC campuses.

“These figures are incredibly uplifting,” said Harris Lewin, UCD’s vice chancellor for research. “The UC Davis faculty, rightly, have much to be proud of, and the Office of Research is privileged to be part of that success story.”

UCD’s funding grew by $65 million from two years ago, according to a news release issued Wednesday announcing the tally for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

Only UC San Diego ($1.01 billion), UCLA ($986 million) and UC San Francisco ($920 million) fared better than the Davis campus in total research funding, according to UC Office of the President figures. UC Berkeley totaled $709 million, best among campuses without a medical school.

Among the grants highlighted by UCD:

* A $25 million, five-year program to improve food security in the developing world, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development;

* $34 million from the National Institutes of Health to a consortium, including UCD, for developing new mouse models of diseases such as cancer, obesity and diabetes;

* $12 million from a joint program of the National Science Foundation and the Japan Science and Technology Agency to further research into generating biofuels from algae;

* $5.6 million from the John Templeton Foundation to study the psychology of gratitude;

* $4.8 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fight child obesity in the Central Valley; and

* $4 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a Center for Poverty Research.

The total brought the campus three-quarters of the way toward reaching the bar set by Chancellor Linda Katehi in 2011: topping $1 billion in annual research funding by the year 2020.

“This record funding for our campus underscores the strength and breadth of research at UC Davis,” Katehi said in the new release. “But university research is about more than just new ideas. It translates into jobs, economic health and the long-term competitiveness of our state and nation.”

Federal grants totaled $400 million, up $100 million from a year earlier. The departments of Health and Human Services ($195 million) and Agriculture ($56 million) paid the lion’s share, along with the National Science Foundation ($48 million).

Competitive state grants, separate from general fund money, leaped to $40 million — up from $6 million in 2009-10.

Corporations and nonprofit business-related nonprofit organizations, like trade associations, chipped in $70 million, $12.5 million more than the previous year.

UCD’s School of Medicine attracted the most funding, with $205 million, followed by the Colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences ($143 million), Engineering ($87 million) and Biological Sciences ($53 million).

Research funding pays direct costs — the salaries of scientists, technical staff, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students and laboratory supplies — as well as indirect costs, like the upkeep and utilities of the campus’ research infrastructure.

Since 1995, UCD has outpaced the research funding growth of its nine sister campuses, according to the news release.

In 2009-10, the most recent year for which National Science Foundation survey results are available, UCD ranked 15th nationally among public universities in research and development expenditures.

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

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Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
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