Total Spending on Research Breaks Record
Increase Marks First Time for University to Top $60 Million
Dec. 20, 2008
In a show of competitive willpower and focused intensity, researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have nearly doubled their research productivity in just five years. Total research spending in 2008 soared past the previous year’s total to $64.3 million—an increase of $16.4 million in a single year.
Trending in the right direction
The 34 percent leap in spending breaks a record at UT Dallas and bypasses spending in the $50 million tier entirely. Increasing spending for research is a top priority for UT Dallas President David E. Daniel, who has set a goal for the University to nearly double that figure in coming years.
“We’re very pleased with the emphasis that we’re placing on research and with the results of that emphasis,” Dr. Daniel said. “While dollars alone don’t fully reflect the quantity and quality of research under way at UT Dallas, they are an indicator of great accomplishments by our faculty.”
The recent boom in research spending brings the average of the last three years to nearly $54 million.
Research funding at UT Dallas has edged upward toward an average of $150,000 per faculty member per year. The University is competing aggressively for science and engineering funding via its nationally acclaimed Erik Jonsson School of Engineering, the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, the Center for BrainHealth, and a host of other research outlets.
“What’s most rewarding to see is the upward trajectory of funding and expenditures over the years,” said Bruce Gnade, vice president for research. “That upward trend is a sign of forward progress and research excellence.”
Key measures of success
Total research expenditure is an important metric category that universities report to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. At UT Dallas, the number represents world class research projects by members of the National Academies, a Nobel Laureate and other distinguished researchers.
Achieving $100 million annually in total research expenditures is among the strategic imperatives that make up UT Dallas’ strategic plan. The figure is widely considered a benchmark for national research universities. The gulf between that annual amount and current research spending at UT Dallas has been bridged by more than half.
Intellectual property disclosures—another sign of prosperous research—topped 30 in 2007. The University has aggressively recruited topflight talent from labs around the world. Increasing the size of the faculty is also a part of the strategic plan.
A third key measure of the UT Dallas quest toward standing as a top research university is the number of Ph.D. degrees awarded annually. On average, over the past four years UT Dallas has graduated more than 126 Ph.D. students per year toward a goal of graduating at least 300 doctoral students per year.