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K-State Today

August 24, 2011

Research proposals see increase over previous fiscal year despite federal funding constraints

By Communications and Marketing

New ideas and explorations were plentiful at Kansas State University in the last fiscal year.

Research was the focus of many faculty members, as the university recorded an increase in project proposals for the 2010-2011 fiscal year compared to the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

K-State received $124,555,821 in awards issued between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011. Though the total of awarded monies is less than that of the 2009-2010 fiscal year, more projects were developed and proposed for federal grants: 1,379 compared to 1,341 from the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

In total, $538.4 million was requested for projects that ranged from human health to enhancing outreach of the arts. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, K-State faculty members requested $419 million for research, instruction, public service and other creative and scholarly projects.

"It's exciting to see our faculty members develop more projects than they did the previous year," said Kirk Schulz, K-State president. "Thanks also goes to our deans and department heads for their continued encouragement of researchers and scholars to pursue more discoveries that advance their field of study. As K-State moves forward to become a top 50 public research university by 2025, it's vital that our faculty continue to pursue funding for their innovative and novel research."

Grants received during the 2010-2011 fiscal year fund a variety of projects at K-State, including insect research that will improve human health and prevent crop loss; developing new methods to advance food safety systems; strengthening of cybersecurity for networks and computer users; improving unmanned aerial systems; limiting toxins in drinking water; supporting and showcasing arts and performances in the community; helping military veterans earn engineering degrees; and much more.

Some of K-State's appropriated funds were affected by budget uncertainties and reductions, along with changes in appropriation requirements for various federal departments, institutes and foundations.

The university lost approximately $4 million in appropriated monies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has contributed to projects in veterinary medicine and agriculture for several years.

The National Institutes for Health reduced new awards and continuation awards by 10 percent or more in the previous fiscal year. Some of the cuts, however, were reinstated to 1 or 3 percent cuts, though these restoration award notices were only recently received.

Several funding agencies also capped awards for inflationary increases, while many additional awards were delayed until the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

Also absent was continued stimulus funding for the Federal Education Stabilization Fund, which awarded K-State $11 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

With federal finances beginning to settle, K-State's office of research and sponsored programs is reporting early indications of increases in funded grant proposals for the current 2011-2012 academic year.