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Research Grants Set New Record in 2008

December 22, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern University's sponsored research award volume climbed to $438.8 million this year, the highest in the University's history and a 5 percent increase over last year's record-breaking $416.4 million.

The larger dollar volume of awards in fiscal year 2008 was fueled by a 10 percent increase ($28.7 million) from federal agencies, with the largest portion from National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants.

In addition to a significant increase in funding this year, Northwestern ranked 24th among universities in NIH funding for fiscal year 2007, the last year for which rankings are available.

"This was a banner year for Northwestern in terms of research awards," said Jay Walsh, vice president for research. "These increases are particularly significant at a time when growth in federal research budgets has been minimal."

Foundation grants and voluntary health organization awards also rose by 23 percent ($6 million) and 14 percent ($2 million), respectively.

The Feinberg School of Medicine received $268.7 million, accounting for more than 61 percent of the University's total. Feinberg's awards represented a 14 percent increase over 2007, following a 17 percent increase a year earlier. The majority of the research support came from the NIH.

Among the major 2008 NIH awards to Feinberg is a $32 million contract to serve as the Greater Chicago Study Center for the National Children's Study, the largest U.S. study of child and human health ever conducted. In addition, a $21 million NIH grant funded a landmark national research, clinical and education program that seeks to preserve fertility in women undergoing cancer treatment.

Other recipients of significant grant funds in 2008 were the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science ($59.1 million); Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences ($55.1 million); and University research centers ($25.4 million).

The University's record volume was matched by a record number of grants -- 2,413
compared to 2,379 in 2007 and 2,227 in 2006.
Topics: University News