UF research spending reaches record in 2018

February 8, 2019
Joe Kays

University of Florida research spending rose almost 8 percent to a record $865 million in fiscal year 2018, according to a new report to the National Science Foundation.

UF’s response to NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development, or HERD, Survey showed a $63.6 million increase, or 7.9 percent, in expenditures over 2017’s total of $801.4 million.

“A strong research enterprise is key to UF being recognized as one of the top public universities in the nation,” said David Norton, UF’s vice president for research. “The continued growth in our research expenditures is testament to the quality of the proposals our faculty are submitting. Funding agencies are looking for new approaches and new ideas and our faculty are delivering.”

Expenditures on projects supported with federal agency funding increased $28.2 million, or 8.6 percent, to $355.5 million, while state and local projects increased $31.6 million, or 22.2 percent, to $174.1 million. Funding from nonprofit organizations and foundations rose 4.8 percent to $44.3 million.

“I applaud our very talented and committed faculty members for achieving a new record in research spending, which is indicative of both the excellence and importance of their work,” said UF President Kent Fuchs said. “The competition for research funding has never been more intense, so achieving this new record contributes to UF’s rising stature among the very best public research universities.”

Life sciences research – including health and agricultural – totaled $656.3 million. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health, is UF’s largest funding source. Engineering accounted for $93.6 million, while physical sciences – like astronomy, chemistry and physics – accounted for $25.9 million. Computer and earth sciences, mathematics, psychology and the social sciences accounted for the balance of the funding.

NSF collects expenditure data from universities around the country and compiles it into a report that will be released later this year. Last year, based on fiscal year 2017 data, UF ranked 15th among public universities in research expenditures.

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