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University breaks research funding record

| Monday, July 17, 2017

Notre Dame has broken the University’s previous record of research funding raised in a fiscal year (FY) after receiving $138.1 million in research funding for FY 2017, according to a University press release Monday. The funds raised surpassed the record set in FY 2015 — $133.7 million — as well as the monthly record, with $27.6 million received in June alone.

According to the release, the sources for the research awards include federal funding, which accounted for 57.8 percent; foundations or other sponsors, which provided 26.9 percent of the funding; and industry, which accounted for the final 15.3 percent.

University president Fr. John Jenkins said the record-breaking amount is a reflection of the hard work of Notre Dame’s faculty.

“Our scholarly, robust faculty can take pride in this milestone,” he said in the release. “It advances Notre Dame’s reputation as a national research university, and it represents a welcome infusion of spending in South Bend. Congratulations to Robert Bernhard, our vice president for research, and most of all to our talented and hardworking faculty for an achievement that is all the more remarkable in a time of government retrenchment.”

Bernhard echoed Jenkins, as he said in the release that an increase in the number of proposals submitted this year contributed to the increase in funding.

“This year’s success is tied directly to the dedication of our faculty who worked harder than ever in this difficult funding environment to compete for grants,” he said. “In fact, Notre Dame researchers submitted over 1,200 proposals this year, representing a 30 percent increase in proposal value since last year. I look forward to seeing many of these proposals — especially those that continue our important collaborative relationship with the city of South Bend, such as the Wireless Institute’s proposal for a city-scale platform for advanced wireless research — become actively funded research projects.”

According to the release, the University remains committed to supporting this “collaborative relationship” with the local South Bend community through research funding, with 75 percent of such funding committed to local initiatives. Among beneficiaries of this funding is the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory in downtown South Bend, which received almost $7 million in research awards in FY 2017.

The release said some of the largest research funding awards include more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of State to the new Keough School of Global Affairs for the Peace Accords Matrix, a $2.5 million award to the College of Science from the National Institutes of Health for continued support of VectorBase — a bioinformatics resource for invertebrate vectors of human pathogens — and a $1.6 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to the College of Arts and Letters for training Catholic thought leaders to engage in dialogue between science and religion.

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