Sponsored awards portfolio at VCU closed at all-time high in fiscal year 2015

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The sponsored awards portfolio at Virginia Commonwealth University reached an all-time institutional high of $270.3 million in fiscal year 2015, an increase of 3 percent from the year before. This is the eighth time in the past decade that VCU’s researchers have taken the institution to record levels of external funding.

“Federal awards played a key role in our success,” said Francis L. Macrina, Ph.D., vice president for research and innovation. “In fiscal year 2015, federally funded grants reached $156 million, a 12 percent increase over fiscal year 2014.”

Francis Macrina, Ph.D.
Francis Macrina, Ph.D.

Of this, more than $88 million came from the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the National Cancer Institute; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 

Approximately 58 percent of the total awards came from federal funding sources, with 7 percent from industry, 9 percent from the state and 26 percent through other sources, including foundations.

Investigator-initiated grants increased significantly for the fourth consecutive year. These awards reached $211 million in fiscal year 2015, exceeding the fiscal year 2010 high of $207 million. Fiscal year 2015 featured significant new awards that involved interprogrammatic collaboration, interdisciplinary research, training, and translational research. 

“Across the board, these record-setting numbers are exceptional,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “My sincere thanks to Frank Macrina for his leadership and vision, and to my faculty colleagues who are breaking new ground every day in laboratories, clinics and studios across VCU. They are also remarkable mentors for our students at every level, who are making research a part of their educational experience like never before.”

Across the board, these record-setting numbers are exceptional.

The top five VCU schools or colleges in terms of sponsored awards for programs were:  Medicine ($143.7 million), Arts ($43.4 million), Humanities and Sciences ($21.8 million), Education ($19.3 million) and Engineering ($12.2 million).

VCU has been ranked for four consecutive years by the National Science Foundation as a top 100 research university based on federal research expenditures. The university is currently ranked 84th in federal research expenditures and 103rd in total research expenditures.    

VCU is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a “Research University–Very High Research Activity,” the highest ranking afforded by the foundation. Carnegie has also placed VCU in the status category of “Community Engagement”.

“VCU is home to a major workforce of scholars that both teach and create knowledge,” Macrina said. “These activities complement each other in ways that change our students and change our world. This year’s research metrics speak volumes about the people of VCU.”

Fiscal year 2015 officially closed on Aug. 31. 


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