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Research awards reach record high

Research awards at KU soared 13 percent to a record $218 million in the past fiscal year, a nearly 50 percent increase in the past five years.

KU was propelled to the new record by a 15 percent increase in research awards from the National Institutes of Health, to a record $86 million. The NIH is KU's largest single source of research funding, and KU accounts for 85 percent of all NIH funding in the state of Kansas.

Congressional support

Kansas Reps. Nancy Boyda, Dennis Moore and Jerry Moran, at KU 's request, signed letters encouraging appropriators to include in the FY07 wrapup funding measure a $6 billion increase in NSF funding and $4 billion in Energy Department funding. The funding is part of the America Competitiveness Initiative to grow reseach budgets and graduate programs.

"Research is discovery," said Chancellor Robert Hemenway, "and research is education.  That's why we do it, to keep expanding what we know so we can share it with others and improve the quality of life in Kansas and elsewhere."

Jim Roberts, vice provost for research, noted "Nationally, the budget for NIH research has been flat the past three years. So the growth in NIH awards to KU last year is impressive."

NIH awards grew by more than 21 percent at the KU Medical Center last year, said Paul Terranova, senior associate dean for research and graduate education at the medical center.

Roberts noted that the NIH success rate at the Lawrence campus — grants awarded vs. proposals submitted — was 23 percent in 2005, the most recent year available. The national rate was 18 percent.

Roberts and Terranova attributed the growth to more and larger proposals being submitted and a strong success rate.

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