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

Tue, 04/16/2013

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Kevin Boatright
Office of Research
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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 The federal budget sequester that began March 1, if not reduced or repealed, will seriously impair basic university research for years to come.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.”



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Poet offers insights to Jayhawk experience through wordplay "Welcome to KU. Where questions rest, in stacks of answers from the past. …" Listen to Topher Enneking, a spoken word poet and former KU football player, as he weaves the experience of KU and its traditions through this storytelling and wordplay performance. Learn more about KU traditions at http://www.ku.edu/about/traditions/. Welcome to KU. Where questions rest in stacks of answers from the past. Where dreams crawl out of bed And learn to walk Uphill both ways. Where freshmen stand on stilts And hang from the rafters, While the wheat waves In a fieldhouse Where the Phog rolls in Helping us to see Through the past into the future. Haunting hosts giving handouts in a heritage Too heavy to grasp til you add to it. So it may be born anew, Allowing our boots to stand in the ash of oppression’s hate But shine bright as the sun While war cries of warriors past Ring in our ears long after their battles are won. Memorials telling time, “you don’t have to stand still.” Because the top of the world Is just up that Hill. Where our natural history is an awe-struck echo Of world’s fair and equal Past, present and future, prelude and sequel. Where our flags fly above planes. Where we build in chalks that can’t be erased. Stone edifices made to last So you would walk Past their doors, down their halls And let your voice fill their room. Because only in empty silence can destruction loom. So stand tall. Wrap your arms around this crowd Sing our alma mater and sing it out loud. Let your voice sing in chorus and reach other nations Beckoning new Jayhawks to spark new collaborations Because you are the mortar that will hold these walls upright. Your future Your dreams are why Jayhawks did fight For the tradition before you Was merely prelude For what will come next now that you’re at KU.


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
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times