UC Santa Cruz researchers attracted $132.5 million in external grants and contracts to the campus in the 2012-13 fiscal year. The total is down 6 percent from the previous year, a reflection of the impact on funding agencies of the federal budget cuts known as the sequester.

Although the sequester did not officially take effect until March 1, 2013, federal agencies began to change their funding patterns months in advance of that date in anticipation of the reductions in their budgets.

The fiscal impact of the sequester on UC and other research institutions nationwide has been estimated at a drop of 6 to 8 percent in the level of federal support, according to Scott Brandt, vice chancellor for research. "Despite this drop, our five-year trend is positive, and this is the eighth consecutive year that UCSC grants and contracts awards exceeded $100 million," he said.

Over the past five years, UCSC has received nearly $667 million in research funding.

During fiscal year 2013, the federal government funded 88.1 percent of the grants and contracts awarded to the campus, while private foundations accounted for 6.3 percent. The single largest funding source was the National Institutes of Health ($33 million), followed by NASA ($32 million) and the National Science Foundation ($25 million). The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation was the campus's largest source of private funding, with awards totaling more than $2.5 million.

The single largest award, $25 million, was for projects carried out by the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), located at the NASA Ames Research Center, from its continuing contract with NASA. Biomolecular Engineering received the campus's second-largest award, in the amount of $6.9 million, from National Institutes of Health/National Human Genome Research Institute.