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UT research award dollars reach five-year high

The University of Toledo researchers brought in $27.1 million in new grants to fund research during the 2018 fiscal year, contributing to a five-year high in external research funding.

When combining the 39.5 percent increase in new awards compared to 2017 with renewal grants awarded to continue progress on previously funded projects, the total amount of grants awarded to UT in 2018 climbed to $46.6 million, an increase of 21 percent compared to the previous year.

“Our research portfolio is growing,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The University’s faculty members are leaders in their academic disciplines who are making important advancements in their field of study and helping UT achieve national research prominence.”

The number of grants jumped 15 percent in fiscal year 2018, from 282 in 2017 to 326. Of those, the number of new awards increased 11 percent, from 163 to 182.

“My office has seen grant awards increase across the entire campus in a wide range of disciplines, showing a strong faculty response in supporting the University’s commitment to building research,” Vice President for Research Frank Calzonetti said. “I am particularly impressed by the number of new awards, compared to awards to continue previously funded projects. These new awards are mostly for projects that have met agency merit review criteria and have a higher probability of future funding.”

Federal awards in 2018 include:

• $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to Dr. Sridhar Viamajala, professor in the UT Department of Chemical Engineering, for a project titled “A Comprehensive Strategy for Stable, High Productivity Cultivation of Microalgae With Controllable Biomass Composition”;

• $1.8 million from the Air Force Research Laboratory to Dr. Randy Ellingson, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, for a project titled “Ultra-High Efficiency and Lightweight Thin-Film Photovoltaic Electricity for Portable, On-Demand Power for Defense Applications”; and

• $438,172 from the National Institutes of Health to Dr. Heather Conti, assistant professor in the UT Department of Biological Sciences, for a project titled “Novel Role for B-Defensin 3 in the Regulation of Innate Lymphocytes and Oral Mucosal Immune Responses.”

For more information about UT’s research enterprise, visit utoledo.edu/research.