Virginia Tech reported $396.7 million in expenditures for fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30, to the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The figure represents an increase of $23.4 million or 6.27 percent over fiscal year 2008, according to Ken Miller, university controller. The 2008 total placed the university 46th highest in the country; the NSF will not release its rankings of universities for the 2009 fiscal year for several more months.
Over half of the growth ($12.8 million) was from federal funding agencies, said Miller, and since the bulk of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds came later in the year, this growth included only $28,000 of federal stimulus fund expenditures. The federal funding increase was offset by the further reduction in the Commonwealth Research Initiative funding of $4.8 million, Miller said.
Federal funding grew from $135.6 million to $148.4 million while industry dropped slightly from $20.475 million to $20.444 million and state and local funding dropped from $100.322 million to $100.217 million. Institutional and other funding, such as cost sharing and funding from foundations, grew from $116.9 million to $127.6 million.
"Competitive research awards continued to grow thanks to the efforts of our faculty," said Robert Walters, vice president for research at Virginia Tech. Faculty members submitted 3,106 proposals for research projects, up from 2,750 in 2008.
Walters added, "Sponsored research activity is more than money; it represents the Virginia Tech faculty's outstanding scholarship and expertise and their efforts to address important societal problems."
Research awards in 2009 that are part of the research expenditures include National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to develop resistance-breaking insecticides to reduce malaria transmission, an NSF Career Award for analysis of advanced fuel cell polymers, NIH funding to explore the development of a nanotechnology-based approach for protecting people from the deadly affects of nerve gases, support of development of an energy independent monitoring system for bridges, a U.S. Agency for International Development grant to improve food security in Africa, a study of the environmental implications of nanotechnology, an NSF Career Award for work on a new type of heart stent sensor, an NSF award to the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to develop high-performance computer modeling tools for wireless telecommunication networks, and an NSF award to the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to develop GenoCAD — a Web-based Computer Assisted Design environment for synthetic biology.