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September 1, 1997

UCSC researchers attract $45 million in external funding, highest in campus history

By Robert Irion

UCSC researchers received more than $45 million in external contracts and grants during fiscal year 1997, by far the highest total in the campus's 32-year history.

Research funds received from federal, state, and private agencies totaled $45,072,120 between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 1997. That figure is 28 percent higher than the previous year's total of $35.2 million and well above the benchmark of $38.8 million, set in fiscal year 1995.

"This is a remarkable accomplishment for our campus, especially at a time when most other major universities are seeing steady levels of funding or even declines," said Chancellor Greenwood. "It is a testament to the extraordinary quality of our faculty and their hard work."

Greenwood continued: "This is additional evidence that UCSC has become a fully mature research and educational institution and a major contributor to studies on issues of national importance. It also is good news for our students and our prospective students."

Professor of earth sciences James Gill, UCSC's associate vice chancellor for research, notes that seven years ago, the campus's external research awards amounted to $19.8 million. "Doubling our funding so quickly in the current fiscal climate was difficult and required very hard work by both researchers and staff," Gill said. "There are no entitlements for research."

Gill noted that the awards attract and support many of UCSC's undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members. They also provide much of the campus's research equipment and supplies.

The campus processed 601 awards in fiscal year 1997, up from 515 the previous year. About 63 percent of the funds ($28.5 million) went to researchers in the Natural Sciences Division. The Social Sciences Division attracted $7.7 million, while programs in the new Jack Baskin School of Engineering drew $4.7 million.

Principal funding agencies were the National Science Foundation ($9.1 million), the National Institutes of Health ($8.9 million), the Department of Defense ($6.4 million), and the Department of Education ($6.1 million). Those four agencies accounted for about two-thirds of the campus total.

Individual awards exceeding $500,000 were received for research about breast cancer, computer-chip design, engineering for the Internet, pharmaceuticals from marine organisms, groundwater remediation at Fort Ord, cultural diversity and language learning, and particle physics.

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