|UND sets record levels in sponsored program awards, expenditures|
Research at the University established record levels of external awards and expenditures for fiscal year 2006, which ended June 30, 2006. Sponsored program awards reached an all-time high of $94.3 million and sponsored program expenditures also set a record at $81.2 million. At the end of fiscal year 2006, the University’s research portfolio included $315 million in total ongoing and committed accounts. University researchers submitted a record 974 proposals to external agencies for a value of $255 million during the year.
The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) led units in awards received with record funding of $32.2 million, an increase of 32 percent from the $24.4 million received in FY05. Other leading units include the School of Medicine and Health Sciences with $19.8 million of awards received, followed by the School of Nursing at $4.9 million, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at $3.7 million, and the Northern Great Plains Center for People and the Environment at $3.1 million, which among other things manages the DC-8 sub-orbital research laboratory. The top five UND units in annual expenditures in support of research include the EERC at $24.5 million, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at $18.4 million, the Northern Great Plains Center for People and the Environment at $4.6 million, and the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences, each at $4.1 million.
Peter Alfonso, vice president for research, noted that external awards and expenditures have more than doubled in the past five years. “The magnitude of the growth in such a short period of time is nothing less than spectacular,” Alfonso said. He added that “research generated revenue from external sources has grown to such an extent that it now accounts for a larger proportion of UND annual revenue than does state appropriations. Research accounts for 27 percent of the annual UND budget whereas state appropriations accounts for 24 percent.”
The economic impact of UND research to the city and state is significant. Research expenditures creates over 1,500 jobs, adding an additional $162 million to the regional economy, $6 million in state and local taxes, and $25 million in federal taxes.
The commercialization of inventions and technologies stemming from UND research will have an additional economic impact. “Clearly, our faculty has responded to the UND Strategic Plan goal of achieving $100 million in sponsored program awards and $80 million in grant and contract awards," said Alfonso. "And, given that the faculty has submitted an increasing number of proposals to external agencies that fund research in each of the past five years there is every reason to believe that UND will surpass the past year’s $94.3 million in sponsored program awards and $82.9 million in grant and contract awards. The University’s main focus at this point in our growth as a research institution is to respond to the success of our researchers by providing faculty with the proper support that they deserve for a job well done.”
UND's overall economic impact is about $1 billion, according to the North Dakota University System.