USU sees record increase in research funding

Research funding at Utah State University grew $42 million in the year ending June 30, the largest increase in school history. “The faculty has been extremely engaged this year,” said Brent Miller, vice president for research at Utah State. “They submitted 260 more proposals this year than they did the year before. We’ve also put in place a number of mechanisms to help the faculty submit more proposals than ever before. “There is also some benefit from the stimulus funding that was passed a year ago. Of the $42 million increase, $12 million was in stimulus funding. But the majority of it resulted from the additional work done by the faculty.” Miller said the growth in new funding is spread across the entire university. “There are some units that are up more than others. Generally, across the colleges we’ve seen an increase. We also saw that in the research foundation, so it happened quite broadly, not in just one or two units. He said USU’s Space Dynamics Laboratory and the newly created Energy Dynamics Laboratory is the largest single research unit in terms of volume of funding received. They increased from $52 to $62 million in awards this past year. Miller said the record $187 million in research awards leads to employment. “It translates into literally thousands of jobs, primarily on campus, but also all over the valley there are people who work on USU research projects of various kinds.” Miller said the new research money includes more funds for a project that has been in the news in northern Utah. “We’re trying to assist our colleagues in Logan with the wastewater lagoon project with the phosphorous problem there, using algae as a natural way of dealing with the excess phosphorous and creating a biofuel from algae at the same time. “Another larger project is the one exploiting the geothermal energy potential of the Snake River Plain.”

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