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Research Funding Tops a Half Billion Dollars for Fourth Year

Wide range of research activity contributes to economic well-being in Chicago area

EVANSTON, Ill. --- For the fourth year in a row, research grant funding awarded to Northwestern University totals more than a half billion dollars. Northwestern’s research award funding for fiscal year 2013 (ending Aug. 31, 2013) was $549.3 million, an 8 percent increase over last year’s $508.4 million.

Northwestern’s research grant funding has grown by nearly $100 million in the past five years, from $450.6 million in 2009.

“I’m grateful to our Northwestern faculty and their students and postdocs who write proposals for research that will have a significant impact on society,” said Jay Walsh, Northwestern’s vice president for research. “Through their research, they are creating new knowledge.”

Funding in fiscal years 2009 to 2012 was greatly influenced by grants provided through federal stimulus, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). In 2010, the height of ARRA funding, Northwestern received 279 ARRA grants, for a total of $72.2 million, in addition to $484.2 from other sources. In 2013, the University received just 16 ARRA awards for $6.9 million.

When ARRA funding is removed for all years, the 2013 amount of $542.4 million is the highest dollar value of research funding the University has ever received.

The increased dollar volume of research funding came from all sectors in 2013, including federal agencies (4 percent increase over the previous year, $16.6 million), industrial sponsors (11 percent, $6.8 million), foundations (15 percent, $4.3 million) and voluntary health organizations (29 percent, $4.2 million). More than 70 percent of research funding came from federal sources.

“Research at Northwestern covers a wide array of fields, from biomedicine, energy and sustainability to economics, sociology, anthropology and education,” Walsh said. “Our research program continues to grow, making a significant contribution to the economic growth in the Chicago area and beyond.” 

-Joan Naper, director of research communications in the Office for Research, is the author of this story.

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