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Research Funding

Research Funding Tops $686 Million

Growth of Research Funding

For the ninth year in a row, research funding at the University of Utah grew, totaling $686 million in fiscal year 2022, which ended on June 30. The total is a new record high for the university. The U achieved milestones of $600 million in funding the last two years and $500 million four years ago.

“Research is one of our key foundations of our university,” said Dr. Erin Rothwell, interim vice president for research. “Our students, faculty, staff and donors are continuously working together to bring solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face today as a society.”

As a member of the prestigious American Association University, the U is known for its diverse disciplines in medicines, science, social work, arts and more. This fiscal year, research grants were awarded to more than 18 colleges in diverse disciplines across campus.

Highlights from our research funding

From medicine to fine arts, research at the U spans across many studies, as growth in funding continues moving upward. The School of Medicine grew the most in funding dollars with $331 million, a 15% growth from the previous fiscal year. The College of Education has a 43% funding growth from FY2021, with $5.6 million in funding. The Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute saw an 88% growth, with $16 million in FY2021. In addition, the College of Fine Arts saw its total funding dollar grow to $1.8 million, a 23% funding growth from the previous year.

Sources of Federal Funding

Although these are some of the highlights, studies by our researchers from multiple disciplines were awarded research funding in data generation, parent-child relationships, cyberinfrastructure, and integrative health. Some of the many funding sponsors include the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation.

U research’s impact on Utah’s economy

U research is a major contributor to our local economy. The institution has almost 8,000 employees who are compensated by research dollars.

“Research funding is not only helping make progress in the research itself, but also helping many Utahns personally and economically,” said Rothwell. “Over the last three years, research has supported $598 million in wages that contributes to the economic engine across the state of Utah.”

Economic Impact

Discovering solutions for a better future 

Thanks to its dedicated researchers and generous donors, the U continues to move forward in breaking new ground, innovating, and discovering solutions to issues that impact the global community.

“Research is all about helping people,” said Rothwell. “The continued growth of our university’s research funding shows that many are excited and want to be a part of the solutions to the issues we face locally, nationally and globally.”

University President Taylor Randall said the U’s goal of reaching $1 billion in research funding annually will help the institution strive toward an objective of becoming a top-10 public university.

“Research funding at the university has increased annually for the past nine years. This is the trajectory we need to be on to have unsurpassed societal impact,” said Randall. “Through the hard work and dedication of our research community, the U is positioning itself to be a major player in developing solutions to the world’s grand challenges like climate change, mental health, cancer and more.”

 - First Published in @theU

 

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College Merger

College Merger


College of Mines and Earth Sciences to merge with College of Science.

The University of Utah College of Mines and Earth Sciences will merge with the College of Science beginning July 1, 2022, a move that will unite well-funded programs, build synergy and cooperation between faculty and create a much stronger base for science and mathematics education at the U.

Deans Darryl Butt of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences and Peter Trapa of the College of Science have worked with university administration and members of both colleges to plan the details of the merger. The College of Mines and Earth Sciences will retain its name and identify as a unit of the College of Science and all faculty, students, buildings and research programs in both colleges will continue in the combined unit.

President Taylor Randall

“Both of these colleges are leaders in student enrollment and research, providing valuable direction on some of the most important issues we face today. I am confident this union will elevate both programs and provide more opportunities for collaboration and student access to classes.”

 

“Given the incredibly strong connections and research collaborations between the two colleges already, this proposed merger brings a huge number of opportunities for students and faculty,” said William Anderegg, associate professor in the College of Science’s School of Biological Sciences. “The merger opens doors to new educational programs, student research opportunities and research avenues that should elevate the U’s prominence and impact.”

How it happened

The two colleges have a long history of collaboration, but as they came together in 2018 to begin planning for a new Applied Sciences Building, which will bring together departments from both colleges, the deans and faculty members discussed interdisciplinary collaborations and joint courses of study, leading to the proposal of merging the colleges.

In developing the merger plan, the colleges have met with university administrators and faculty and staff from both colleges. Each department in both colleges conducted an advisory vote from their faculty, with a strong majority of voting faculty being in favor of a merger.

“The alignment of COS and CMES to form a stronger and more synergistic organization would elevate the reputation, and likely national rankings, of the respective programs as the joined faculty become more comparable in size and scope to many peer colleges in the Pac-12,” said Butt. “The union will strengthen the STEM fields at the U, and provide a greater student experience through enhanced advising, tutoring, research opportunities and interdisciplinary programs.”

What will and won’t change

The yearlong Phase 1 of the merger, which begins July 1, 2022, involves integrating non-academic functions of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, such as accounting and marketing. The deans will work to enhance communication and collaboration in the united college, and continue working with faculty, staff, students and university leadership to streamline the merger.

Students attending classes in either of the colleges this fall likely won’t notice anything different–buildings, faculty and programs will remain as they are. Students working towards existing degrees will still receive those degrees from their respective colleges. No programs will be changed and no staff positions will be eliminated.

Leadership will also look much the same, with department chairs remaining in place, and Butt remaining as dean of the entities comprising the College of Mines and Earth Sciences as the colleges consolidate.

After that, as Phase 2 begins, the unified college will report to a single dean and changes to the governance structure of the college, developed in Phase 1, will be finalized and submitted to faculty, student and administration stakeholders for final approval.

Future endeavors, such as a major in earth and environmental science currently under consideration, will utilize resources from both colleges. But the College of Mines and Earth Sciences will remain as a distinct unit within the College of Science, strengthened by the merger and well-positioned to meet its future mission to the state of Utah as the land grant school of mines.

“We are thrilled to unite with the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, with its tradition of hands-on education and impactful research,” Trapa said. “As a combined college, we’ll be positioned to prepare students for an interdisciplinary world.”

“This is an innovative solution to combine the resources of two historic colleges in a way that preserves the identities and missions of both while elevating them to the top tier of science colleges in the United States,” Butt said.

Get to know the colleges

The College of Science and College of Mines and Earth Sciences are two of the oldest colleges at the U, owing to the early missions of the university to educate Utah’s teachers and the leaders of the mining industry in the state.

The roots of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences extend back to 1901 with the establishment of the State School of Mines. Instruction in earth science and mining engineering goes back even further, to at least 1871. The college’s current name was adopted in 1988 and it currently consists of departments of geology and geophysicsatmospheric sciencesmining engineering and metallurgical engineering (jointly administered with the College of Engineering). The Global Change and Sustainability Center and the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, a network of seismometers throughout the West, are also housed in the college’s Frederick A. Sutton Building. The college has become one of the most research-intensive colleges on campus, with average annual per faculty research awards exceeding $300K. With six majors and four degrees to choose from, students in the college study everything from the nature of snow and ice to processes governing Earth’s processes to the methods and processes for producing critical materials.

The current incarnation of the College of Science was formally organized in 1970 but has roots in science instruction that dates back to the founding of the University of Utah in 1850. It includes departments of mathematicsphysics and astronomychemistry and the School of Biological Sciences—a progression of disciplines that encompasses the structures and processes of life, the universe and, well, everything.

As one of the largest colleges at the U, the College of Science includes around 2,100 undergraduate students and nearly 500 graduate students, with 143 faculty members. In FY 2021, the college received $36 million in research funding.

In recent years the college has renovated the George Thomas Building into the Crocker Science Center and is planning the renovation and expansion, in collaboration with the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, of the William Stewart Building into the 140,000-square-foot Applied Sciences Building.

Learn more about the College of Science and College of Mines and Earth Sciences.

 

 

by Paul Gabrielsen, first published at @theU.

 

College Rankings

College Rankings


U.S. News & World Report has released their 2022-2022 National University Rankings. The University of Utah is now ranked No. 1 in Utah and No. 42 nationally among public universities.

The College of Science fared even better. National rankings for public universities put Biology at No. 13, Chemistry at No. 20, Mathematics at No. 22, and Physics & Astronomy at No. 47.

There are many factors used to determine a school’s final ranking in the U.S. News & World Report but one factor that is not considered is cost. When cost is factored, there are few universities that challenge the University of Utah.

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Science Campus

The Science Campus


 

 

Crocker Science Center

The home of cutting-edge science

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Thatcher Building

The Department of Chemistry.

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Henry Eyring Building

The Department of Chemistry.

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Cowles Building

The Department of Mathematics.

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Skaggs Building

The School of Biological Sciences.

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South Biology

The School of Biological Sciences.

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Fletcher Building

The Department of Physics & Astronomy.

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Widtsoe Building

The Department of Mathematics.

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South Physics Building

The Department of Physics & Astronomy.

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James Talmage Building

The School of Biological Sciences.

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