University of Utah research funding continues to grow, totaling $641 million in fiscal year 2021 (FY21), which ended June 30. The total is a new record high for the U, which achieved milestones of $600 million in funding last year and $500 million three years ago.
Our remarkable research community is the reason why the U is a global leader in discovery and innovation."
Andy Weyrich, PhD, vice president for research and professor of internal medicine
67% of the U’s research funding comes from U of U Health, which has grown continuously for nine years running, reaching $428 million in FY21. In the health sciences, 1,740 awards are funding 2,054 proposals.
“The past 18 months have been difficult for all of us, but our researchers continue to excel,” says Willard Dere, MD, FACP, associate vice president for research at U of U Health. “Their innovations will help us overcome the many effects of the pandemic and will continue to make a difference in a wide variety of areas that impact health and our communities.”
Research funding sources
According to the vice president for research office, federal funding is the largest source of research grants to the U, comprising 68% of funding. More than half of the federal funding (52%) came from the National Institutes of Health and 16% came from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Rising to the occasion in a time of need, the COVID-19 pandemic has become an active area of research in a variety of disciplines across the U, bringing in $45 million from external sources of funding. Across all research grants awarded in FY21, the U School of Medicine received the most funding with $289M, followed by the Huntsman Cancer Institute with $83M.
Research grants were awarded to more than 1,000 principal investigators in diverse disciplines across campus. The funding supports nearly 8,000 employees and more than 4,000 trainees, including postdoctoral researchers, students and research assistants.
U research drives economic growth and development. In FY20, U research grants contributed $228 million to salaries and wages, which contributed $31 million in state and local sales taxes, according to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Since 2000, the U has launched 300 companies and more than 750 products, generating around 37,000 life science jobs.
“We’re very proud of our research community for reaching another historic milestone,” says Weyrich. “We look forward to seeing the exciting discoveries and innovations that will be developed through this funding support.”