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 State of Research 2023: UC's research enterprise continues its upward climb

The State of Research 2023: UC's research enterprise continues its upward climb

The 2023 research data is in, and UC continues to soar. Last fiscal year, UC researchers received $314 million in sponsored research awards, signifying a 17% increase over the previous year’s record-setting figure of $269 million. UC’s research awards have nearly doubled since fiscal year 2018.  

Research expenditures at UC and its affiliates (Cincinnati Children’s, UC Health, Cincinnati VA, and UCRI) reached an unprecedented $699 million in 2023, a 14% increase over the previous year. This continued advancement in research expenditures is made evident in the ascent of UC’s ranking in the NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey for 2021-2022 (FY22 data), in which UC improved two spots for public institutions (#31) and drove into the top 50 in the overall category (#49). 

“Our continued research growth helps secure our place among the premiere institutions in the nation,” said UC President Neville G. Pinto. “I’m incredibly appreciative that our faculty hold such a deep commitment to the teacher-scholar model. Their innate curiosity and insatiable appetite for discovery lead to essential breakthroughs and foundational advances in understanding.”  

The sharp rise of UC’s sponsored research awards and related expenditures would not be possible without extraordinary talent, but it is also a direct result of major investments in people and research infrastructure as a part of Next Lives Here and UC's 10-year plan for research, Research2030.  

Dr. Patrick Limbach, UC’s Vice President for Research commented, “UC is the leading R1 urban university in the region with unrivaled talent solving problems that matter, transforming society through game-changing new knowledge, and applying disruptive discoveries”. 

Aligned with UC’s focus on solving problems that matter, one growing area that illustrates how UC researchers are striving for a healthier future is through cancer research and clinical trials. There were several impressive grants for cancer research, including a $1.5 million grant to Dr. John Byrd, a $400,000 grant to Dr. Pier Paolo Scaglioni, and $250,000 to Drs. Shan Lu and Zhongyun Dong, among many others. In addition, UC was awarded $70.5 million in industry-sponsored clinical trials, which represents about 20% of the total sponsored awards received at UC.  

Another important area for the university and region revolves around semiconductor research and manufacturing. The new Intel semiconductor plant northwest of Columbus is helping to close a large workforce shortage in the sector, making good on its promise to draw heavily upon UC graduates and faculty expertise such as that of Dr. Marc Cahay who now leads project OASiS which received $2.3 million from Intel as part of the first phase of Intel’s Ohio Semiconductor Education and Research Program, a highly collaborative initiative focused on advancing semiconductor research, education, and manufacturing in Ohio. In alignment with this, the NSF has invested in several large semiconductor projects led by UC researchers such as Dr. Sarah Watzman who is researching next generation semiconductors and Dr. Rashmi Jha who is developing novel memory devices for high-density data storage and in-memory computing. 

Among federal sponsors of research, the Department of Health and Human Services accounted for 50% of UC’s total, including $119 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its subsidiaries. Other major sponsors include the Department of Defense ($18 million), the Department of Education ($15 million) and the National Science Foundation ($14 million). In addition, State of Ohio funding accounted for $9 million in awards. 

“The impact of growing research and grant success at the University of Cincinnati is remarkable,” says Valerio Ferme, PhD, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Our faculty’s transformative, investigative work exposes students to new knowledge. Further, it pushes the boundaries of students’ learning inside and outside the classroom in all disciplines from the sciences to the creative arts, and from the humanities to the varied professional fields that comprise our educational disciplines.” Vice President for Research, Patrick Limbach, concurred and commented, “At the core of the rising success of research at UC is the brilliance and drive of each individual researcher and student and the hard work and dedication of our staff”.