UNH Crosses $1 Billion Mark In Research Funding
Milestone Follows Record-Breaking $108 Million Year

Contact: Lori Wright
603-862-0574
UNH Media Relations

Dec. 13, 2005



DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire crossed the $1 billion threshold in research funding in 2005, a milestone in the making since 1978. UNH achieved the $1 billion mark in the same year it broke another funding record -- 2005 was the first year the university received more than $100 million in external research funding. The one-year record marks a 15.2 percent increase from 2004, when the university attracted $94 million.
 
“These impressive milestones mark a significant step in the maturation of UNH as a research university and are the result of tremendous effort by the university’s faculty and staff with important support from our federal representatives and board of trustees,” UNH President Ann Weaver Hart said.
 
Total external research funding to UNH has more than doubled over the last seven years, and the $108 million awarded in 2005 represents 26.7 percent of the university’s total operating revenue. Total state funding was $60 million or 14.9 percent of the university’s revenue in 2005.
 
“UNH has nearly 250 faculty and staff who contributed to both milestones through the demanding and uncertain process of writing proposals to federal and state agencies,” said John Aber, UNH vice president for research and public service. “This is really a tribute to the able and entrepreneurial staff on campus.”
 
One primary source of increased funding has been through the university’s growing relationship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is becoming a lead agency for the federal government in understanding and managing environmental quality. Effective support from the office of Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) has been crucial to this growth and success.
 
“Senator Gregg has played a key role in helping us translate our capabilities in oceanic and atmospheric research into important new programs,” Hart said. “But equally important, as a true friend of UNH, he has prodded us to rethink our strategic development of key research areas and to broaden our efforts to pursue industrial research opportunities. These will be vital in sustaining our research growth.”
 
NOAA supports research in a number of areas at the university, including ecosystem processes and management, environmental technologies, earth and ocean observation, and climate and air quality. For example, the Large Pelagics Research Center is developing technologies to tag blue fin tuna and track their transoceanic movements across the North Atlantic. The Joint Hydrographic Center has been conducting hydrographic surveys of the sea floor in the Arctic Ocean in support of the Law of the Sea Treaty.
 
The National Science Foundation (NSF) was UNH’s second-largest sponsor in 2005, with continued support for the Leitzel Center for Math, Science, and Engineering Education. UNH has two nationally recognized NSF research centers -- the Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing, a partnership with Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell; and the Biomolecular Interaction Technologies Center.
 
New Hampshire also became a first-time participant in the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) in 2005. Designed to enhance research productivity and stimulate economic development, the NSF program funds individual research projects, workshops on proposal preparation, and infrastructure support for the state’s science and technology needs.
 
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was UNH’s third-largest sponsor in 2005. Most of the NASA funding supported projects pursuing fundamental research in space physics, and in environmental processes at the regional and global scales. This year, UNH received its largest ever competitive award, a $38 million grant from NASA, that will support the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission to study reconnection of solar winds in the magnetosphere.
 
In addition to public research funding, the university nearly doubled its private funding from $9.4 million to $17.3 million. This parallels increased interest and potential in spinout technology companies and other efforts to spur economic growth in the state. UNH launched its second spinout company in 2005 – Xemed, which specializes in cutting edge medical imaging.