Colorado State Earns Record $200 Million in Research Funding, Tops $30 Million in Indirect Cost Recovery

Colorado State University received a record $200 million in sponsored research awards for fiscal year 2002-2003, over $16 million more than the previous year and a 42 percent ($59 million) increase in externally funded research support over the past five years. Colorado State also earned a record $30 million in indirect cost recovery – revenue received from funding agencies targeted at reimbursing the university for costs incurred in support of research – that is used in large part to enhance the university’s priority research and scholarly activities.   

Federal funds comprised the majority (70 percent) of the sponsored awards and totaled more than $139 million, nearly $16 million (13 percent) more than the previous year. Commercial and other non-federal awards made up $43 million (22 percent) of the total, with state support adding another $17 million (8 percent of the total).

"In this challenging economic environment, Colorado State University continues to make record gains in external research awards," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State University. "This is another strong indication of the confidence that federal agencies and commercial sponsors have in Colorado State to conduct vital national research."

Through the university’s Research Administration/Resources for Scholarly Programs (RA/RSP) initiative, funded by indirect cost recoveries from sponsored research grants, 40 percent of indirect costs get invested directly into colleges to expand scientific and scholarly activities and to improve the educational experience for students. As a result of RA/RSP and the record year in sponsored research, Colorado State invested more than $16 million in fiscal year 2003 to enhance research and academic excellence. This represents a 25 percent ($4 million) increase over fiscal year 2002.

"Colorado State is one of the nation’s premier public research universities in terms of the amount of sponsored research awards earned and in the beneficial impact our research has on society," said Anthony Frank, vice president for research and information technology. "These funds allow Colorado State unparalleled opportunities to move discovery and creation into the classroom and improve education while also addressing important regional and national issues."

The RA/RSP program provides flexible funding that Colorado State uses to enhance the university’s programs of research and scholarly excellence, Colorado Commission on Higher Education designated programs of excellence, as well as university designated research thrusts. The funds generated through the program also free the educational and general budget for other university programming needs.

"The RA/RSP program is an important factor for allowing growth in leading research programs at Colorado State, especially during times of state budget reductions," said Hank Gardner, associate vice president for research and information technology. "These funds, which are largely independent of state support and tuition, are used to jump start hiring, enhance research infrastructure, fund graduate students and provide additional educational opportunities for undergraduates."

Following are a few recent examples of specific uses of the Research Administration/Resources for Scholarly Programs funds.

–     Major construction and renovation projects, including renovations at the Microbiology building, a new addition to the Atmospheric Science/CIRA facilities on the foothills campus, and numerous laboratories for advanced study of infectious diseases.

–     Hiring and retention efforts for diverse and underrepresented faculty.  

–     Start-up funds for ISTeC, a university-wide organization for promoting and enhancing Colorado State’s research, education and outreach activities regarding the design and innovative application of computer and information systems.

–     The Undergraduate Research Symposium which recognizes and honors the achievements of undergraduates at Colorado State in the areas of research and creativity.

–     Support of international education and outreach programs.

–     Technology transfer and economic development.

–     Graduate fellowships and pilot project support.

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided the largest amount of awards to Colorado State at more than $37 million. The Department of Agriculture awarded the university $20 million and the National Science Foundation awarded the campus about $17 million. The Department of Defense granted nearly $12 million to Colorado State, and the Department of Interior and Department of Commerce each awarded the university more than $8 million. The Department of Education, NASA, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency also funded research projects at Colorado State. For a complete breakdown of funding, see the attached chart.

Colorado State is on pace for another record-setting year for sponsored research awards in fiscal year 2003-04. The university announced $66 million in federal grants within the last month: one from the National Institutes of Health, two from the National Science Foundation and one from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to establish three research centers at the university and partner on a third in Massachusetts.

The centers showcase Colorado State as a world-class research institution in the areas of infectious disease, biotechnology, engineering and cancer research.