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University of Iowa News Release


July 29, 2009

UI external support increases 10.3 percent to record $429.5 million

Despite the historic flood, which displaced and interrupted many research programs last summer, University of Iowa faculty generated impressive growth in extramural support in fiscal year 2009. Total external funding achieved yet another all-time record of $429.5 million, which represents an impressive 10.3 percent increase over 2008 and continues a trend that has seen consistent increases over the past 23 years.

[Click here to listen to an audio recording of the news conference where external support details were announced this morning.]

"This remarkable accomplishment by our faculty is even more impressive considering most of these grants were obtained under the relatively flat federal research budgets prior to the recent ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) stimulus and potential increases associated with the fiscal year 2010 presidential budget proposals," said Jordan Cohen, interim vice president for research and economic development. "This seventh successive record year again demonstrates our commitment to discovery and applied research that produces important new knowledge while helping address many important issues facing Iowans and society in general."

The total for fiscal 2009, the 12-month period ending June 30, 2009, exceeded one-third of a billion dollars for the eighth consecutive year. Since 1967, when overall records were first kept, the university has attracted $6.7 billion in total external support. This outstanding productivity continues to place the University of Iowa among the nation's elite public research universities and is especially significant in the face of challenging economic conditions in Iowa and the serious impact of the flood of 2008. 

According to the most recent National Science Foundation survey (2007), the UI is ranked 20th 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.

The major up-tick in funding includes more than $5 million in ARRA funding. "These funds represent the very early stages of ARRA funding. With a large number of grant applications for federal stimulus monies still pending, we anticipate continued success as funding announcements are made in FY 2010," Cohen said.

Derek H. Willard, special assistant to the president for governmental relations and associate vice president for research, noted that both fiscal year 2009 Omnibus appropriations and the ARRA provided a boost to scientific research. "There is a renewed commitment in Washington to the idea that investments in science and technology positively impact the American economy and the health and well-being of Americans. The response from researchers across the country to federal stimulus funding has been overwhelming. We credit the leadership of the Iowa delegation not only for its support of federally funded research, but also its steadfast support of critical disaster recovery funding over this past year," he said.

UI President Sally Mason commented, "This outstanding increase in grant productivity once again demonstrates our faculty and staff's passion for the pursuit of knowledge and the swift progress of discovery. They have eagerly watched the federal government's recent movement toward greater investment in science and technology and have enthusiastically responded to new opportunities for extramural funding."

Especially significant were the increases seen from all major funding agencies relative to fiscal year 2008. These included:

--Department of Health & Human Services (includes NIH): $216.4 million (up
5.5 percent)

--National Science Foundation: $12.6 million (up 38.4 percent)

--NASA: $9.3 million (up 5.8 percent)

--Department of Education: $18.6 million (up 35.9 percent)

--Department of Defense: $9.1 million (up 14.0 percent)

--States: $48.1 million (up 51.2 percent)

--Industry: $38.7 million (up 5.4 percent)

--Private Organizations: $40.3 million (up 17.6 percent)

Twila Reighley, director of the UI Division of Sponsored Programs, noted that grant applications increased by 33.4 percent in the past fiscal year and added, "Talented faculty and staff across campus, as well as our dedicated Sponsored Programs staff, responded impressively to an unprecedented rapidly evolving research environment this past year."

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 and economic development, 319-335-2132,; Derek Willard, special assistant to the president for governmental relations and associate vice president for research, 319-530-0902; Stephen Pradarelli, UI News Services director,