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 The federal budget sequester that began March 1, if not reduced or repealed, will seriously impair basic university research for years to come.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



David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he works with KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, are important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.” Tags: #KUcommunities #CivilRights #History American Studies at KU
Turning rural America healthy: Christie Befort uses $10 million award. http://t.co/rrFjFtHbYT #KUcommunities http://t.co/Bsuek4k9QC
Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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