Research funding hits record $226.9 million
Bolstered by robust research efforts in several colleges, total sponsored awards and research funding at the University of South Carolina grew to a record $226.9 million in fiscal year 2011.
The amount is a 3.7 percent increase over last year’s record of $218.8 million.
Research funding from the National Institutes of Health increased by 9.2 percent to $39.3 million; funding from the U.S. Department of Defense jumped 20 percent to $18 million; and funding from the U.S. Department of Energy expanded by 10 percent to $13.6 million.
University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides praised the faculty for their achievements.
“Competition for research funding becomes fiercer every year as budgets are cut and proposals are more competitive, so our faculty’s achievements are particularly gratifying,” Pastides said. “A vibrant research program is essential not only for a Carnegie top-tier university, but also for our state, where our initiatives in public health, education and fuel cells can have an enormous impact on the health, well-being and prosperity of our citizens.”
Colleges reporting significant growth in funding included USC’s College of Education (44 percent); the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (43 percent); the College of Engineering and Computing (18 percent); the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies (14 percent); the College of Arts and Sciences (9 percent); and the Arnold School of Public Health (9 percent). USC Aiken, one of the university’s regional campuses, increased its collective funding by more than 38 percent, from $1.46 million to $2.01 million.
Notable research awards in the past year include the following:
• $4.4 million to the department of chemical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computing from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop low-cost, high- performance, durable fuel cell catalysts for the auto industry;
• $2.8 million from NIH to the Institute for Families in Society in the College of Social Work to conduct research aimed at refining software to aid children’s dietary recall accuracy, and ultimately increase the understanding of the link between diet and disease in children;
• $2.4 million (Department of Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computing) from the Office ofNaval Research to study use of a cloud-based state-of-the-art engineering design tool to assess the advantages and disadvantages of competing concepts for integrated electric propulsion systems.
• $2.8 million from NIH to the department of epidemiology and biostatistics in the Arnold School of Public Health to identify factors that can generate novel preventive or therapeutic strategies in order to curb the rising prevalence of allergic diseases;
• $1.7 million from NIH to the department of biological sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences to examine cardiac arrhythmias associated with hypertrophic myopathy, a common genetically-based disease of the heart that is a leading cause of sudden death in athletes and young people;
• $1.4 million from NIH to the department of cell and developmental biology and anatomy in the School of Medicine to investigate new approaches to improving patients’ responses to implanted materials, medical devices and stem cells.
With one exception, USC has increased annual research funding every year since 1983. Carolina is one of only 63 public universities listed by the Carnegie Foundation in the highest tier of research institutions in the United States and the only one in the state of South Carolina.
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