UW Hits Record $78 Million in External Funding

September 11, 2008
Man looking into microscope
Nair Sreejayan, pharmacology researcher in the UW College of Health Sciences, conducts research funded with a grant from the American Diabetes Association. During the 2007-2008 academic year, UW received a record $78 million in external funding received by faculty, research scientists and administrative personnel.

The University of Wyoming logged a record $78 million in external funding during the 2007-08 fiscal year, Vice President for Research and Economic Development Bill Gern announced today (Thursday) to the UW Board of Trustees.

The UW Office of Sponsored Programs has now reported an increase in external awards received by faculty, research scientists and administrative personnel in each of the past 22 years.

But this year's accomplishment is particularly remarkable for two reasons, Gern said.

"First, it represents a 7.7 percent increase in external awards funding over last year, which is 4.84 percent more than the U.S. inflation rate. And, secondly, this new record was set against a static federal research and development budget," Gern said. "This year's new mark is a considerable achievement accomplished by a truly remarkable faculty. This success is their success."

In addition to supporting faculty research, research centers, institutional projects and student educational opportunities, Gern said UW's external awards have a significant impact on Wyoming's state economy.

A large portion of the $78,006,884 was federal or industrial money and, therefore, "new" money introduced to the state economy, he said.

About two-thirds, or roughly $37 million, of the funds are paid as salary to faculty, research scientists, postdocs and students. In fact, according to the report, about 1,200 university employees receive all or some of their salary from external awards.

"When $37 million is injected into the state's economy, and using a very conservative multiplier of 1.75, it will generate about $64 million in secondary economy from the purchases made by UW employees," Gern said. "In addition, it requires another 1,800 employees in the secondary economy to provide the goods and services to these UW employees. Thus, in its own right, the university's research enterprise represents a very large business operating in Wyoming."

UW students also reap the benefits of external awards. The majority of the university's nearly 3,000 graduate students are supported either partially or fully with this funding and 250-300 undergraduates are paid from research contracts during each month of the academic year.

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