Research funding stays constant despite federal budget sequestration
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Research awards to the University of Florida held steady last year at $640.6 million despite a slowdown in federal funding brought on by the budget sequestration. The total is within 1 percent of 2012’s $644.4 million.
Researchers from the six colleges of UF Health brought in $363.1 million. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences brought in $107.1 million, followed by the College of Engineering with $66.4 million, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with $35.8 million and the remaining colleges with a combined $68.2 million.
Funding from the federal government accounts for about 65 percent of UF’s total and most federal agencies were down, including UF’s largest sponsor, the National Institutes of Health, down 7.1 percent from $159.9 million to $148.6 million.
The newest total marks a nearly 40 percent increase in UF research awards since 2002-03.
“Coming so close to last year’s total in such a challenging funding environment is remarkable and reflects positively on our faculty,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research. “With a large academic health center we will always have a high proportion of our funding from the federal government, particularly NIH, but industries in Florida and beyond have increasingly turned to the University of Florida for research collaborations.”
Support from industry was up nearly 30 percent to $70.8 million.
UF had more than 50 grants of more than $1 million to researchers in various sectors of the campus. Major UF Health grants included $12.1 million to Marco Pahor of the Institute on Aging to study the effectiveness of physical activity and aging health education programs for the elderly; $7.5 million to Elizabeth Shenkman of the Institute for Child Health Policy to examine disparities in access to and quality of health care for the publicly insured, particularly children and those with special health care needs; and $3.9 million to David Nelson in the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute to focus on clinical studies.
Other major awards include:
Lily Elefteriadou from the College of Engineering was awarded $3.4 million for the Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education (STRIDE) Center, a consortium of eight universities headquartered at UF that conducts transportation-related research in the areas of safety, livable communities and economic competitiveness.
Tim Martin in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences received $2.8 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the impact of climate change on pine forests.
Mary Brownell from the College of Education received $5 million to improve teaching for children with disabilities.