USF Research Funding Tops $360 Million

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 10, 2008) – University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft announced today that the university’s research funding for FY2007/2008 rose by 17 percent over last fiscal year’s figure to top out at $360,169,573, a more than $50 million increase over the FY2006/2007 figure.

"The credit really goes to our faculty, who continue to develop great ideas and apply those ideas to real-world problems," said USF President Judy Genshaft. "But it also gives our students an environment in which they're encouraged to pursue their ideas and learn how to conduct world-class research."

USF's success in gaining new grants in multiple disciplines paves the way for new growth, said Karen A. Holbrook, vice president for research and innovation at USF. “This extraordinary success in sponsored research is testimony to the quality of our faculty members. Dollars for research have been tightening and institutions across the board have not been experiencing the kind of growth that USF has. We’re very happy.”

Holbrook also said that the range of sources was “more diverse than ever,” coming to the university from federal, state and local government sources as well as a range of private sources, both nonprofit foundations and corporate.

Federal funding has increased significantly. For example, the National Institutes of Health, which has seen a reduction in funds allocated from the Federal government, awarded $107.5 million to USF in FY 2007/2008, up from $62.5 million during the previous fiscal year.

Funding for medical and health research leads the university’s quest for excellence. Year after year, programs headed by Jeffrey Krischer in the USF College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics help drive the research dollar totals upward. In FY 2007/2008, the college’s external funding increased by 35 percent. Also, the College of Nursing increased its research awards by 64 percent and achieved its goal of raising both public and private funding by 40 percent.

Faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences also are fueling this upward trend in funding growth, surpassing their 2006/2007 figure by 32 percent with $36.1 million in total funding.

Jason Rohr in the Department of Biology received $364,414 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify patterns and theories of wetland ecosystem responses to pesticides. Pritish Mukherjee, professor and chair in the Department of Physics, received a $1.6 million grant from the Department of the Army to study soldiers’ responses to new technologies and the threats they pose.

David Mann, professor in the College of Marine Science, received $569,398 from the National Science Foundation to continue his work in biological oceanography.

State funding also increased. The Florida Department of Education awarded Gladis Kersaint in the College of Education $5.9 million to work in partnership with community schools to improve achievement in math and science through teacher professional development through the PROMISE program (Partnership to Rejuvenate and Optimize Mathematics and Science Education). The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice awarded the USF School of Social Work Director William Rowe $6.9 million to fund the “PRODIGY” project that focuses on youth development for at-risk juveniles. The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) received $1.7 million from the Florida Department of Children and Families to support a project that identifies and expands knowledge in “best practices” in child welfare cases. The project is headed by Donald Policella, director of the Florida Center for the Advancement of Child Welfare Practice.

Funding from local governments also contributed to the climbing research dollars totals. The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) in the College of Engineering received $195,499 to assist the City of Gainesville to develop a master plan for the Gainesville Bus Rapid Transit project. CUTR’s William Morris heads the project. Overall, CUTR’s funding increased by 35 percent, rising to $10.1 million from last fiscal year’s mark of $7.5 million.

Closer to home, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners awarded Chief Thomas Longo of the USF Police Department $318,078 to conduct a “Concurrent Jurisdiction Pilot Program” with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and the Tampa Police Department. The project targets increasing campus and nearby community safety and also funds positions for additional USF police officers.

In an era of tighter government funding, private funding has become increasingly important. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dennis Kyle in the College of Public Health’s Department of Global Health is monitoring anti-malarial drug resistance and guiding malaria treatment policies. Malaria still kills an estimated one million people annually, mostly in developing countries. Overall, the College of Public Health saw a 25 percent growth in research funding over last fiscal year.

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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