Research Communications

Ohio University reports $67.7 million in external funding for FY 09 

Awards for engineering research climb 68.5 percent

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 19, 2009) – Ohio University faculty and staff were awarded $67.7 million in state, federal and private funding for research and sponsored programs in fiscal year 2009, up from $60.3 million the previous year. Funding for the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, which attracted awards for research in avionics and clean coal technologies, grew by 68.5 percent.

“The university’s ability to attract competitive awards for research and sponsored programs continues to grow at a steady pace. This reflects the high quality of research, scholarship and creative work by our faculty and staff,” said Rathindra Bose, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at Ohio University.

The total external funding includes $32.2 million for research, up from $25.9 million in fiscal year 2008, and $35.5 million for non-research sponsored programs. The latter category includes funding for projects such as literacy, public health and community outreach initiatives.

The increase in research funding came from both state sources ($7.6 million, up from $3 million last year) and federal agencies ($19.5 million, up from $16.2 million). The largest sources of research funding were the Ohio Department of Development ($6 million), the U.S. Department of Transportation ($4.6 million), the National Science Foundation ($3.4 million), the National Institutes of Health ($2.9 million) and the U.S. Department of the Defense ($2.9 million).

The Russ College of Engineering and Technology experienced the biggest increase in research funding, from $12.1 million in fiscal year 2008 to $20.4 million in 2009. The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences drew $8.3 million, primarily through awards to its Avionics Engineering Center, which specializes in research in navigation and landing systems, runway safety and communications. The Department of Mechanical Engineering attracted $6.5 million in funding, which includes an award from the state’s Ohio Research Scholars Program for a new senior research position in advanced energy systems via green industrialization.

“The recognition by our external sponsors is a clear outcome of our conversion to a results-based focus on our historic strategic research areas in avionics, energy and the environment, smart civil infrastructure and biomedical engineering. The increase is also certainly due to the maturing of the careers of our faculty hired since the Russ College strengthened its emphasis on scholarship beginning in the late 1980s,” said Dennis Irwin, dean of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

Funding to the Scripps College of Communication also increased, from $2.8 million to $4.3 million. Major grants include funding to faculty in the School of Media Arts and Studies and the college’s GRID Lab for an emergency responder immersive video imaging network, an award for an international health and development communication project, funding from NASA for interdisciplinary research on space communications, and awards for the Rural Health Network Development Program and the WOUB Center for Public Media.

In addition, faculty in the Scripps College, Russ College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Fine Arts’ Aesthetics Technologies Lab received an award of $400,000 for a new cyber technology center. This increased the overall external funding for the College of Fine Arts for fiscal year 2009.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine’s total external funding also grew to $15.1 million. This included a new $2.3 million grant from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation for the construction of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Center for Clinical Training and Assessment and Free Community Health Clinic. The center will offer state-of-the-art clinical skills training labs for medical students and also will provide a permanent, contemporary home for the college’s Free Clinic, which serves the uninsured and underinsured in southeastern Ohio. The facility, to be housed in Grosvenor Hall and Grosvenor Hall West, is scheduled for completion in early 2011. In addition, the college’s external funding figure includes $2.5 million from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation for the construction of the Academic & Research Center (ARC) building, which will have a grand opening in May 2010.

The number of proposals submitted for external funding and the number of awards received by faculty and staff have remained relatively steady for the past three years. In fiscal year 2009, the university submitted 1,012 proposals and received 657 awards.

The full awards report is available online at the Vice President for Research web site: http://www.ohio.edu/research/upload/awardsreport_FY09.pdf.

Contact: Andrea Gibson, (740) 597-2166, gibsona@ohio.edu.