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February 16, 2016

University Receives $469 Million in Sponsored Research Funding

Courtesy of Adam Thorp

The University of Chicago received $469 million in sponsored research funding in 2015, marking a slight increase from $451 million in 2014, according to a summary released by the University News Office.

University researchers and faculty members put together funding proposals for their research projects, which the University then submits to various funding organizations. Decisions are made by a peer review system wherein experts in the field judge the viability and impact of the proposed research.

According to the annual report released by the University Research Administration, an office that provides support for research funding and compliance, a total of 2,393 research proposals were submitted in 2015 from all over the university, amounting to $1,765 million in proposed research funding. 2,250 of the proposals were accepted, with $469 million in total awards given.

The biological sciences division received more than half of the total funding, pulling in $293 million. The physical sciences division ranked second, receiving $60 million, followed by the social sciences division which received $17 million. The School of Social Service Administration ranked fourth with $7 million awarded, and the Divinity School fifth with $5 million.

The federal government provided 70 percent of the total research funding, amounting to $329 million. The National Institute of Health (NIH) was the largest federal sponsor, providing $233 million. The National Science Foundation came in a distant second with $54 million.

One of the NIH award recipients was Andrezej Joachimiak, a senior fellow at the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology and Computation Institute. He received $6.2 million on research that aims to develop more advanced methods for determining protein structures.

The other 30 percent of research funds came from private foundations and corporations. While most research in the biological and physical sciences divisions were federally funded, many notable social sciences research projects were supported by private foundations.

James Heckman, a professor of economics, received $2.1 million from the Pritzker Family Foundation for research on early childhood development. The research aims to find the most influential intervention program to maximize human potential in the first five years of life.

The federal government granted most of University of Chicago’s peer institutions the bulk of their funding. It sponsored approximately 81 percent of research at Stanford, amounting to $988 million during 2015-2016. 82.5 percent of Princeton’s research funding came from federal agencies, amounting to $242 million in 2014. The NIH and National Science Foundations were the largest federal sponsors at both institutions.

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