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The University of Wyoming reached a milestone in external funding during the 2009-10 fiscal year, topping the $100 million mark for the first time in the university's 123-year history.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development Bill Gern delivered the good news to the UW Board of Trustees today (Friday), calling the achievement "a testament to the quality of our faculty." External funds are used to support faculty research, research centers and institutional projects, as well as student educational opportunities.
In total, UW's Research Office logged $101.6 million, up from $81 million last year and $78 million two years ago. The university has now reported an increase in external awards received by faculty, research scientists and administrative personnel for 24 consecutive years.
"This is the work of the faculty," Gern says. "One-hundred-million is a milestone number and truly speaks to our hiring strategies as a university, the quality of our faculty and their ability to compete for funding."
He adds, "We were in near-record territory in February or March. We knew the amount of funding would be high, but we didn't know if we would make $100 million."
Of the $101,631,246 million, an estimated $13 million was awarded through federal stimulus funding, leaving roughly $89 million in faculty-generated and student educational opportunity funds, which Gern labeled a "substantial" increase over the previous year.
Each year, UW students reap the benefits of external awards. A large number of the university's graduate students are supported either partially or fully with this funding. The Research Office also estimates that 850-900 undergraduates are paid from research contracts during each month of the academic year in support of specific projects working one-on-one with faculty.
The external awards also have a significant impact on Wyoming's state economy. About 60 percent of a typical research grant is salary. These salaries pay people who use then use their salary to buy goods and services, which Gern says has a major impact on the state's economy.