Oct. 12, 2009

KU continues to rise in national research rankings

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas again climbed in the latest ranking of federally funded science and engineering research. KU officials say the positive trend should continue — fueled by new federal stimulus grants and relatively stable research funding.

Overall, KU ranked 43rd among national public research universities for the 2008 fiscal year, according to an annual survey from the National Science Foundation. That’s one spot higher than in 2007 and two higher than in 2006. In 1996, KU ranked 55th.

“This is good news for Kansas, in terms of KU’s ability to bring federal research dollars into the state,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “But it’s even better news for the people who benefit from our work in human health, energy, the environment and other fields.”

KU’s federally funded spending for science and engineering research alone was $122.4 million in 2008. Total KU research spending from all grants and contracts exceeded $197.8 million that year. KU’s top three sources of federal research funding were the National Institutes of Heath, the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation.

“The 2009 fiscal year was also positive for KU and our outstanding researchers,” said Steve Warren, vice provost for research and graduate studies. He singled out a $20.2 million, six-year NIH grant for a Specialized Chemistry Center, the largest in KU history. The center is part of a high-level network of institutions searching for molecules that can fight disease and advance human health.

“For 2010, we know we are already ahead of where we were this time last year and that doesn’t include the nearly $17.4 million in one-time federal stimulus-funded research awards received so far at both campuses,” said Warren.

“Nationwide, federal funding for science and engineering research is a leading indicator of a university’s overall reputation,” said Paul Terranova, vice chancellor for research at the KU Medical Center. “These are the most competitive federal grants, and the outcomes of the research often have the greatest impact in translating laboratory discoveries into real-world cures for cancer and other diseases.”

Source: KU Press Release