UCSC research funding tops $140 million for 2011-12

researcher with test tubes
Funding for UCSC researchers over the past five years has totaled nearly $666 million in grants and contracts. (Photo by Elena Zhukova)

UC Santa Cruz researchers attracted $140.3 million in external grants and contracts to the campus in the 2011-12 fiscal year. This is the seventh consecutive year in which research funding at UCSC has exceeded $100 million.

UCSC's continued success in attracting research funding has brought in nearly $666 million in grants and contracts over the past five years.

"Our grand total of $140.3 million in awards was the second-best ever in the history of the campus, representing a 12 percent increase over the previous year, and a wonderful tribute to the talent and energy of our faculty," said Bruce Margon, vice chancellor for research.

"The $1.2 billion that the campus has received and expended in sponsored research awards over the past 10 years has been a huge contributor to our local economy, where much of it is expended," Margon added. "These funds, which originate chiefly from outside of California, enable our students to learn from and work with faculty who are not just educators, but also discoverers of new knowledge, making the educational experience at UCSC far richer."

Research funding for the campus hit a peak in 2009-10, at $148 million, largely as a result of the federal economic stimulus program (ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), which inflated research university awards nationwide.

During the 2011-12 fiscal year, the federal government funded about 87 percent of the grants and contracts awarded to the campus, while private foundations accounted for about 6 percent. The single largest funding source was the National Institutes of Health ($39 million), followed by NASA ($36 million) and the National Science Foundation ($22 million). The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation was the campus's single-largest source of private funding, with awards totaling more than $2 million.

The single largest award, $29 million, was for projects carried out by the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), located at NASA Ames Research Center, from its continuing contract with NASA.