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Rutgers sees increase in research funding

Rutgers increased its research funding by more than $100 million up to $612.5 million, up from $512.5 million from the previous year.

Even as most federal agencies actually lost funding, Rutgers managed to bring in 11.4 percent more federal dollars than last year.

The barometer Rutgers has is the funding for most federal agencies, and the agencies’ funding have "basically been flat" for the past few years, said Ed Tate, director of Communications from the Rutgers Office of Research and Development. 

For Rutgers to to go up double digits is a "great accomplishment," he said.

“The fact that Rutgers is bringing in more outside dollars for its research despite the tough times for research funding nationally speaks to the quality of the university’s programs,” said New Jersey State Sen. Stephen Sweeney (D-Camden).

The total federal dollars received by Rutgers stands at $303.12 million, Sweeney said.

The rest of the $209.38 million came from increased support from the National Institute of Health, more corporate grants, and the National Science Foundation as well as private donations, Sweeney said.

“Research is a key component of Rutgers’ academic programs and a significant factor in the economic development of our state and the region, so these gains are noteworthy" said Christopher Molloy, Rutgers senior vice president Research and Economic Development.

The National Institute of Health increased its contribution just 3 percent from $134.2 million in 2014 to $138.7 million in 2015, according to their website.

This means Rutgers found its growth by getting lesser contributors to participate more.

The National Science Foundation awarded nearly 2.8 million to the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, and a grant to the Engineering Center for Structured Organic Composites offered $2.7 million to work on continuous manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry. 

The Department of Physics and Astronomy received $1.1 million, another $1 million going to the National Institute for Early Education Research and another $1.4 million contribution to the Garden State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation initiative at Rutgers—Newark campus.

“The greatest growth occurred in the Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, their first year was a good year and last year was a very good year. This resulted in an greater than 24 percent percent increase in their overall funding," Tate said.

The news about research funding was announced during a public panel on the impact of the 2013 integration of the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey with Rutgers.

“The residents of New Jersey benefit directly and indirectly from Rutgers research, including the significant impact on our state’s economy and business climate,” said Sweeney, who organized the panel.

In the future Rutgers hopes to continue its history of outstanding research.

“The University of Medicine and Dentistry's integration into Rutgers University has produced positive results so far” said a spokesman from the Rutgers Office of Research and Economic Development.

The office looks forward to continued progress in research from newly brought in school, the spokesperson said.

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