UC researchers continue to blaze new trails in science, medicine, business, education, engineering and the arts — literally transforming the way we live, work and learn.

Findings is the Office of Research’s newsletter, which began in October 2017. It delivers monthly updates to faculty, staff, students, and community partners about impactful research, initiatives, partnerships, events, and opportunities at the University of Cincinnati. To view current and previous issues of the newsletter, go to the Findings page.

The Ascent of UC's Research Enterprise: UC Research Awards up $47m in FY22

The Ascent of UC's Research Enterprise: UC Research Awards up $47m in FY22

The University of Cincinnati research community secured $268.3 million in sponsored funding in fiscal year 2021-2022. This record-setting figure reflects the continued impact of UC research locally and around the globe. The total represents a $46.7 million increase over the previous year and a $100+ million leap in awards since fiscal year 2017-2018.

“The upward climb of our research enterprise is a result of talented faculty who are taking big swings when it comes to innovation and discovery,” said UC President Neville G. Pinto. “The impact of UC’s ascent is felt far beyond our campus. Record research at UC translates to foundational advances for our society.”

Federal funding accounts for 75% of the total awards, including $121 million from the National Institutes of Health and $18 million from the National Science Foundation. Notably, research awards from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke totaled over $38 million (a 40.8% increase from last year’s $27 million). This includes a $4 million grant to a research team from the College of Medicine’s Department of Radiology and Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, led by Dr. Pooja Khatri, which is working to establish biomarkers in the acute stroke period in order to improve the efficiency of stroke recovery trials and inform rehabilitation decision-making.

Research awards from the U.S. Department of Defense and its subsidiaries increased by 70%, from $11.9 million to a record $20.5 million, in the past year, led by awards from the Department of the Army ($9.9 million, a 152% increase) and the Department of the Air Force ($8.2 million, a 69% increase). Included in this total was a $2.1 million grant to a research team led by Dr. Timothy Pritts in the College of Medicine’s Department of Surgery for the development of an easily and rapidly deployable therapeutic for non-compressible torso hemorrhage, which is the leading cause of potentially preventable death as a result of combat injuries.

UC research continues to expand its engagement with the State of Ohio via the $28 million in awards this past year. This reflects a $16 million increase over the past fiscal year, primarily driven by the Statewide Coordination of the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program (OCWTP) award under the direction of Professor Steven Howe in the College of Arts and Sciences. Awards from nonprofit organizations held steady at $11 million this past year.

Industry-sponsored research jumped significantly, from $5.8 million in the previous fiscal year to $26.7 million in fiscal year 2021-2022. The move of industry-sponsored clinical trials from UC Health to UC accounted for $17.6 million of that increase, with the remainder coming from a nearly $3 million jump in industry-sponsored contracts in the Colleges of Medicine and Engineering & Applied Sciences.

At the college level, Medicine, Arts and Sciences, CECH, Allied Health Sciences, and the Lindner College of Business all exceeded fiscal year 2020-2021 award totals, with several colleges reaching their highest awards ever. As part of UC’s Research2030 effort, focused investments have been made to support college and disciplinary activities in research. Examples of investments yielding a direct return include startup funds for the new Center for Advanced Structural Biology which received a $2 million Shared Instrumentation Grant (S10) from the National Institutes of Health’s high-end instrumentation (HEI) program for the purchase of a Glacios 200 kV cryogenic transmission electron microscope (cryo-TEM), and a $95,000 investment in the Center for Public Engagement with Science (PEWS) who recently were awarded $500,000 from the National Science Foundation Innovations in Graduate Education program to support a new interdisciplinary educational sequence for graduate students in public engagement with science.

“The remarkable advances in research success and grant activation at the University of Cincinnati are changing the educational experiences of our students,” says Valerio Ferme, PhD, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.  “As our faculty expand their research horizons and claim greater success in securing support for transformative investigation, our students are exposed to cutting-edge learning from renowned researchers inside and outside the classroom. At the same time, they are afforded opportunities to explore research innovation that spans from the sciences to the arts, humanities, and social sciences, as evinced by the work of our established cross-disciplinary research centers.”

Further, research expenditures for UC and affiliates topped the $600 million mark for the first time ever, led by the university’s $308.2 million in research output. Funding from federal agencies accounted for $350.6 million of the $615 million total. The continued advance in research expenditures – now up by more than $120 million since fiscal year 2017-2018 – is also evident in the latest release of research rankings by the National Science Foundation. Their Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey just released fiscal year 2020-2021 data. UC and affiliates improved two spots in both Public University and Overall rankings, to match their fiscal year 2018-2019 marks of #33 (Public) and #51 (Overall). UC and affiliates now rank within the Top 30 of all public institutions in federal research expenditures (#29) and ranks #50 for all institutions in that same category.

“The continued investment by the university and the commitment of leadership at our colleges to grow our research impact is paying off,” said UC Vice President for Research Patrick Limbach. “Our faculty, staff and students continue to compete and succeed at securing resources to support their research and scholarship. These resources are leading to breakthrough discoveries, impactful outcomes, and an ever-increasing pipeline of new invention disclosures. In combination with our affiliates at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center, the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the University of Cincinnati Research Institute, we are not only pushing boundaries and training the next generation of research talent but are also directly impacting the local economy. With the opening of UC’s Digital Futures building this past fall, we are excited about the future of UC research and its impact on our region.”