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KU advances to 39th in annual survey of federally funded research

Tue, 04/16/2013

LAWRENCE — Federally funded research at the University of Kansas increased in 2011 to a record $162.7 million. That figure ranked KU 39th among national public research universities, according to an annual survey produced by the National Science Foundation.

This marks the first time KU has ranked in the top 40 in this category. It was 41st in 2010, 44th in 2009, 43rd in 2008 and 44th in 2007. As recently as 1996, KU ranked 55th

The survey, which always lags by one year, ranked 896 public and private universities nationwide. According to the survey, KU conducts more federally funded research than all other universities in Kansas combined.

“All KU researchers can be proud of this recognition,” said Steve Warren, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies. “It’s a meaningful measure of KU’s national stature as a research university and a reminder of the importance of KU research to the university’s mission and the economic development of the state.”

In the 2011 survey, KU ranked higher than any other public university in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska or Oklahoma. It ranked second among the eight public Big 12 universities, behind only the University of Texas at Austin.   A list of the top-ranked public and private universities is available online.           

“The NSF survey is really a glance in the rearview mirror,” said Warren. “We and other universities were still receiving federal stimulus funding back in 2011. The view down the road is ominous. The federal budget sequester that began March 1, if not reduced or repealed, will seriously impair basic university research for years to come. At the state level, support for the higher education budget as a whole remains at risk. Taken together, continuing the growth of research at KU will be a challenge moving forward.”

Total KU research expenditures from all sources of external grants and contracts exceeded $256 million in 2011, with federal funding accounting for the largest share of the total. Principal funding agencies included the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education and the Department of Energy.

“Since federal and state funding are increasingly uncertain,” said Warren, “we are expanding our efforts to generate research support from private foundations and industry.  We’ve added staff specifically to work in those two areas.  We’ve also added staff whose assignment is to organize large, collaborative grant proposals in KU areas of research strength, such as energy, transportation, remote sensing, information technology and drug discovery.  These investments are already starting to pay off.”



Junior architecture student Zach Zielke steps along the tessellated tiles winding through the gallery of the Art & Design building. After completing the pathway as a class project, his roommate, junior Anthony Schmiedeler, snapped a photo to show off Zielke’s work. Zielke says the installation was an intervention — to encourage students and visitors to pause and consider the displays of artwork instead of using the gallery as a shortcut through the building. “The gallery allows the creativity and hard work of KU art students to be seen and appreciated,” Schmiedeler says. “By exploring different campus buildings, students can garner an appreciation for the great diversity of the university.” As you continue to explore KU, make sure to stop by the gallery to see the new tiles and the gallery artwork! KU School Of The Arts KU Design Department KU Architecture



One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times