UNH Office of Sponsored Research

Research Funding at UNH Takes 'Quantum Leap'

By Kim Billings
UNH News Bureau

October 8, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- Research funding continues to increase at the University of New Hampshire as sponsored research awards rose 4.9 percent over the last year, bringing the FY'01 total to $81.9 million, according to Kathy Cataneo, executive director of the Office of Sponsored Research.

Federally sponsored projects increased by about 6.4 percent last fiscal year, bringing in $58.1 million, while funding from business and industry, non-profit organizations and other universities increased 3.9 percent to $15 million; state-sponsored totaled approximately $8.4 million. These awards support 515 projects being conducted by UNH researchers and another 55 projects by non-UNH investigators through subcontracts to other universities conducting marine-related research.

"The university's tremendous research opportunities are reflected in another overall increase in research dollars, building upon the largest single-year growth in external funding the prior year," says Donald Sundberg, vice president for research and public service. "These increases speak to the vitality and quality of the research ideas generated by our enterprising faculty."

The U.S. Department of Commerce topped all other federal departments in funding to the university last year, increasing its total by 40.8 percent to $23.8 million. This increase is largely due to funds from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Funding from NOAA was distributed to the following programs:

  • Open-ocean aquaculture
  • $2.2 million

  • CINEMar, (Cooperative Institute for New England Mariculture and Fisheries)
  • $106,500

  • Joint Hydrographic Center
  • $2.1 million

  • AIRMAP, (Atmospheric Investigations, Regional Modeling and Prediction program run by the Climate Change Research Center)
  • $1.4 million

  • CICEET, the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology
  • $4.7 million

  • Northeast Consortium
  • $9.5 million

  • Sea Grant
  • $1 million

  • Instrumentation for measuring wind profiles from space
  • $2.2 million

    The Northeast Consortium, which received the largest amount of NOAA funding to UNH last year, was created in 1999 to encourage and fund effective, co-equal partnerships among commercial fishermen, researchers and other stakeholders for collaborative research and monitoring projects in the coastal ocean, including the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. The Northeast Consortium consists of four research institutions, UNH, the University of Maine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

    Cataneo says the Northeast Consortium is an example of the far-reaching effects of UNH research.

    "The NOAA awards support research centers of excellence here that benefit the region and the whole country," Cataneo says. "These are multi-dimensional, multi-issue programs that are partnerships among our university, other universities, government and the private sector."

    Funding from UNH's second largest sponsor, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), increased by 25 percent to $9 million. NASA is the primary source of support for space-related research projects at UNH's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space.

    For the first time, the U.S. Department of Justice became UNH's third largest sponsor at $5.2 million, moving ahead of the National Science Foundation. The Department of Justice provided $3 million for CATLAB technology, Consolidated Advanced Technologies for Law Enforcement; and $1.5 million for the Crimes Against Children Research Center.

    The National Foundation for the Humanities awarded the university $183,837 to finish The Encyclopedia for New England Culture. Sponsors in the arts and humanities have not been as apparent as those in the sciences, Cataneo says. Lynnette Hentges, manager of program and proposal development in the Office of Sponsored Research, in cooperation with Sundberg, Cataneo and Julie Williams, UNH's newly appointed associate vice president for research and public service, will be working to help identify proposals and funding sources for arts and humanities projects, Cataneo says.

    "We will work with faculty to see what their needs and interest areas are and look for sponsors to fit those needs," Cataneo says.

    New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services is the state's largest sponsor to UNH, providing $4.1 million in research dollars, including $2.1 million for Cooperative Extension's Family Life Skills Program.

    Cataneo says the increase in research dollars has been a result of UNH's strategy to identify sustained funding for programs that distinguish UNH as a land, sea and space grant university.

    "Because of that work," Cataneo says, "we've been able to take that quantum leap."

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