October 5, 1998
By Francine Tyler
UCSC researchers attracted $47.1 million in external contracts and grants last year, the highest total ever received by the campus.
The Education Department, part of the Division of Social Sciences, received $7.7 million in contracts and grants funding, more than any other department or research unit. The 1997-98 year marked the first time in UCSC history that a department outside the Division of Natural Sciences garnered the most research funds.
"This year's growth demonstrates the breadth of research activity at UCSC," said associate vice chancellor for research James Gill. "Not only was there a new School of Engineering, but sponsored research in the social sciences grew by 48 percent over the last three years."
UCSC has traditionally received the bulk of its contracts and grant funding for research in the natural sciences, said Gill, but over the last four years, the campus's Education Department has become one of the key players.
In the 1997-98 year, the single-largest grant--$4.2 million--was received by the Education Department's Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence (CREDE). Latin American and Latino Studies and the Sociology Department also had banner years, Gill said.
Research funds received from federal, state, and private agencies by all five of UCSC's academic divisions totaled $47,122,618 between July 1, 1997, and June 30, 1998. That figure is 5 percent higher than the previous year's total of $45.1 million.
This year's increase in contracts and grants funding reflects a pattern of continued growth that the campus has sustained since 1990, said William Clark, director of the Office of Sponsored Projects. The campus's total contracts and grants funding has more than doubled since the start of the decade, he said.
"This year proves that we have sustained the rate of growth in our contract and grant activities during the 1990s," said Clark. "If we can continue this rate of growth, we'll reach the $100 million mark by the year 2006."
The campus processed a total of 612 awards in 1997-98, compared to 601 in 1996-97. Principal funders included the National Science Foundation ($10.7 million), the National Institutes of Health ($8.8 million), the U.S. Department of Education ($6.2 million), the U.S. Department of Defense ($3.6 million), and the U.S. Department of Energy ($3.5 million).
Nine different departments or research groups at UCSC brought in more than $2 million each in contracts and grants funding. They are, in order: education, biology, the Institute of Marine Sciences, chemistry, Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, UC Observatories/Lick Observatory, computer engineering, the UC Monterey Bay Education, Science, and Technology (MBEST) Center, and the Institute of Tectonics.
The largest awards were received for research in the areas of cultural diversity and second-language learning, language learning in science education, high-energy physics, pharmaceuticals from marine organisms, ribosomal structures, and to build new facilities for the MBEST Center at Fort Ord.
UCSC also attracted $17.9 million in private gift and grant support. For details, see previous article.
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