University of South Carolina

Research funding record $210 million for 2008 09

Research at the University of South Carolina reached a record $210.3 million in fiscal year 2009, up 2 percent from last year.

University President Harris Pastides said the news is gratifying during a year of economic turbulence.

“This record is a testament to the dedicated faculty and staff who worked tirelessly during a time of financial uncertainty to further the research mission of the university,” he said. Their remarkable success underscores their ability to compete successfully with top scientists at the nation’s most prestigious schools.

“I am proud of these research awards, which will fund studies to improve the health and well-being of South Carolinians and advance scientific knowledge in areas critical to our nation’s needs, including alternative energy, the social sciences, biomedicine and science and technology,” he said. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for the university.”

The research record will lay the foundation for the future work of Dr. Stephen Kresovich, the university’s newly appointed vice president for research and graduate education. Kresovich, who will join the university Oct. 1, succeeds Dr. Rose Booze, interim vice president for research since last August.

“We are indebted to Dr. Booze for her leadership during this critical time and look forward to her success as director of our new university-wide Brain and Behavior Institute,” Pastides said.

Among the grants:

  • $12.5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to the College of Engineering and Computing to establish an Energy Frontier Research Center;
  • $4 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to the College of Engineering and Computing for a study on bridge safety;
  • $3.3 million to the Arnold School of Public Health from the National Institutes of Health to fund a study on physical activity, called Transitions and Activity Changes in Kids (TRACK), as children move from elementary school to middle school.
  • $2.6 million from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for the S.C. Rural Health Research Center at the Arnold School of Public Health to support research on rural healthcare needs;
  • $2.24 million from the Duke Endowment for four projects, including colorectal cancer screening and awareness; a community-focused public-health program; a rural health program involving the use of ultrasound; and a program to support communities and families;
  • $1 million from National Institutes of Health for the department of psychology for the PATH to Health program, designed to enhance physical activity in under-served communities, and $1 million from Triple P – Positive Parenting Program – to develop a parenting research center;
  • Two grants totaling nearly $655,000 from the National Science Foundation for a study on ecosystem science and another on chemical oceanography in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Smaller grants were awarded in areas that are key to the university’s efforts to develop its research programs in nanoscience and alternative energy. A $320,000 grant from BASF Fuel Cell GmbH/Inc. will support research on high-temperature fuel cells, and an award of $497,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy will support a study to accelerate nuclear-energy research and development.

The university also was awarded $3 million to develop a Center of Economic Excellence in Nuclear Science Strategies. The funding comes from the S.C. General Assembly’s state lottery program. NIH research awards totaled nearly $32.5 million, with more than $40 million received from other agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The health-sciences colleges – medicine, pharmacy, nursing, social work and public health – received $90.8 million in grants, and the College of Engineering and Computing had nearly $25 million in research funding.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 08/12/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 08/21/09 @ 3:22 PM | Permalink