Saturday, September 23, 2017

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Roofline shot from the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. (Credit: Paul Long) Roofline shot from the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. (Credit: Paul Long)
 


$130 Million in Research Grants and Contracts for SDSU

2015-16 was a banner year for external research funding.
By Michael Price
 

“I am extraordinarily proud of the successes of our faculty, staff and students who are competing nationally to bring essential resources to our campus and our region.”

Although research funding across the country is slowly beginning to rebound from a recession-borne slump, the grant environment remains highly competitive. Despite this, San Diego State University faculty continues to win significant research funding. For the 2015-16 fiscal year, SDSU secured $130 million in public and private funding, up from $120.6 million the previous fiscal year.

Faculty and staff won 707 awards last year, which fund faculty and student research, department projects and other university initiatives.

Some of the largest and most notable awards from last year include funds to support updated infrastructure for health disparities research into San Diego’s communities and beyond ($10 million endowment over 20 years); awards to look for early developmental signatures of autism in the brain ($2 million over five years); and awards to explore how the molecular properties of RNA could lead to new antibiotics ($2 million over five years).

"Funding for research and creative endeavors provides our community with opportunities to address pressing societal challenges, deepen scholarly inquiry and enrich our students' educational and professional experiences," said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. "I am extraordinarily proud of the successes of our faculty, staff and students who are competing nationally to bring essential resources to our campus and our region."

Major funders included governmental organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the California Department of Health Services and the Department of Defense, as well as non-governmental organizations such as the Price Family Charitable Fund, the Institute of International Education and the Family Resource Center Network of California.

In addition to supporting the university’s research and educational activities, the significant funding from these agencies and organizations will play a key role in SDSU’s aspiration to become a top-50 public research institution. Above all, though, the grant-winning success is a recognition of the faculty’s high caliber of expertise and creativity, said Stephen Welter, SDSU’s vice president for research and dean of graduate affairs

"This rise in funding is a reflection of the tremendous efforts of our faculty who are making important discoveries and developing real-world applications for these research advancements," he said. "SDSU continues to make investments in research and creative activities so that our students are challenged and society is served."