UVM research vessel on Lake Champlain (photo by Joshua Defibaugh)

UVM Tops $260 Million in Research Support

The University of Vermont set a record for the fourth consecutive year in total external support for its rapidly growing research enterprise, inspiring discovery, innovation, and creativity across  its full scope of scholarly disciplines.

“Groundbreaking research pays generous, lasting dividends to all of UVM’s stakeholders and our region,” said President Suresh Garimella. “Our research mission attracts world-class scholars to our faculty. Students learn valuable skills from conducting research alongside faculty here in Vermont and around the world, and the state’s economy is strengthened by the influx of talent and investment related to performing and supporting research.”

Research at UVM, a VTTA member, funded by federal and state agencies, corporate partners, foundations, and individual donors reached nearly $263 million in the fiscal year ending June 20, 2023 –  only the second time the figure has soared above a quarter-billion dollars. Two years ago, UVM broke through for the first time to be ranked among the nation’s 100 largest public research universities by total research support according to the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Since 2019, the university has expanded investment in initiatives to enhance its research footprint across all parts of the institution, alongside committed action to advance affordability and access for students. This focus has paid off in terms of absolute growth and in diversifying the research portfolio to encompass more areas where UVM has unique and powerful strengths, particularly in advancing healthy societies and a healthy environment. 

“Our faculty’s scholarly work addresses some of the most urgent challenges of our time,” Garimella said. “UVM’s long-time leadership role in environment and climate, combined with our outstanding health sciences programs, positions us among a handful of institutions who can tackle just about anything related to human and societal health.”

The institution’s strategy and targeted investments in areas of research excellence and scholarship have activated all corners of UVM in the pursuit of federal, state, and private funding.

“Five years ago, there was certainly influential research conducted at UVM, but it was isolated to a handful of high-performing areas,” said Kirk Dombrowski, vice president for research. “What the faculty and staff have accomplished in a very short time has led to a broad set of interdisciplinary research centers and research support systems, realizing the true potential of a comprehensive university.”

External support for UVM research has doubled since 2018. The Larner College of Medicine—the long-time top performer in attracting funding for UVM research—until recently accounted for the vast majority of UVM’s research. In 2023, while still growing its research, Larner College of Medicine accounts for 35% of the total. That means all the other colleges and schools have grown fast, including the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, up 58% in research funding since last year.

“We are making sure faculty have the facilities and support to apply for highly competitive grants,” said Linda Schadler, dean of engineering and mathematical sciences. “In our college, research currently includes projects to test hybrid solar platforms in extreme cold, build wireless soil sensing and other tools to assess conditions following wildfires, and the application of microbiomes to protect the natural environment and public health.”

Read more here.

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