Faculty Researchers Attract Millions in Grant Funding
MU Scientists and Scholars Overcome Economic Woes, Generate Record Levels of Research Support
Story posted: June 21, 2010
By: Rober Duncan
COLUMBIA, Mo. – While economic woes are in the news nearly every day, researchers at the University of Missouri have experienced the opposite trend as they have attracted record levels of grant money to the region to study problems in several fields, including electrical and computer engineering, physics, biological sciences, agriculture, medicine, psychology, business, and literature. “Reaching these record milestones, particularly given today’s challenging economic climate, reaffirms the place of MU’s faculty investigators among the nation’s leaders in research, scholarship, public service and economic development,” said Rob Duncan, vice chancellor for research. “Original thinking and discovery are vital to the continued health of our national economy; in tough times we need more, not less, support for the scientists, scholars and students whose innovative thinking will lead our nation’s return to prosperity.” During fiscal year 2009, MU researchers spent more than $543 million on research, instruction and public service. This is an 11 percent increase from the previous year when researchers spent roughly $489 million and a 38 percent increase from five years ago. “Much of this money was spent in the local or state economy through the creation of jobs that support this research or purchasing vital equipment to complete the studies,” Duncan said. “Studies have shown that MU research creates millions in economic development dollars. For example, the money generated by MU last year was roughly equivalent to 20 companies with revenues of $12 million each.” The future also looks promising as researchers received more than $573 million in awards during the 2009 fiscal year. Some recent research awards include:
- $6.8 million to the School of Medicine to encourage rural doctors to start using electronic health records. Experts say the increased use of electronic medical records could save lives.
- $3.1 million grant to the College of Veterinary Medicine to expand research on biological joint technology, or using living tissue to replace damaged joints.
- $5 million grant to the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Science to increase physics instruction in Missouri high schools.
- $1.4 million to the College of Engineering to develop technology that would detect falls and atypical behavior among retirement community residents.
- $1.5 million to the Bond Life Sciences Center and the MU School of Journalism to address the difficulties of communicating science to the public.