U receives record sum for research

The University received more than $455 million in federal grants and contracts in fiscal year 2000, a nearly 30 percent increase from last year and a school record.
The number of faculty proposals for funded research increased by 7 percent during the period. University officials also attribute the record sum to the robust economy.
Faculty submitted $1.18 billion in funding proposals in 2000. This is the first time the institution has passed the billion-dollar mark, according to a University statement.
Christine Maziar, vice president for research and Graduate School dean, will present figures to Board of Regents at its September meeting today at the Morris campus.
“It’s key that all three numbers are up,” said Maziar, in a prepared statement, “because that means continued growth and a strong research profile for the future.”
She added, “The university couldn’t have posted these record research gains without the generous support we’ve received from the state of Minnesota and, in turn, all of our citizens benefit as jobs are created and new technologies are transferred to the marketplace.”
According to a University statement, 38.1 jobs are created in the state for every $1 million spent on University-based research.
Additionally, the University received $23.1 million in gross royalties and patent and licensing activity fees — a 259 percent increase over five years.
“Our faculty members have been working very hard and competing on a national basis for these awards,” said Christine Maziar, vice president for research. “This is a testament to the fact that we’ve hired well. And with the new investments made by the state and the University … there is a growing sense that this is a university that’s building steam and is building momentum.”
Maziar predicted that the University’s statistics place the institution among the top in the Big Ten for research dollars.
University President Mark Yudof said the statistics suggested that investments in fields such as genetics and design are yielding returns because they match the priorities of federal agencies, which finance two-thirds of research at the school.
Nearly $234 million — about half of the total research dollars — went to Academic Health Center researchers. The fields represented include medicine, public health, veterinary medicine and other health fields.
Yudof credited Maziar’s office with improving the grants management process at the University.
“And perhaps it reflects better esprit at the university,” Yudof said. “Only the faculty can apply for grants and do the research. It demonstrates how hard they’re working.”
— Compiled from wire and staff reports.