Officials at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University say their funding from grants and federal contracts dropped slightly in the last fiscal year. UI vice president for research and economic development, Jordan Cohen, says they are still happy with the results. He says the year was “surprisingly strong” given federal cutbacks and the loss of stimulus funds, as they ended up with nearly $457 million, which was down just two-percent from their record year last year.
The majority of the school’s funding continued to come from the National Institutes of Health at over $205 million. Cohen says they saw some significant growth this year in funding from the Department of Education and the Department of Defense.
Cohen expects the budget uncertainty in Washington is going to have an impact in the coming year. He says that will translate into some reductions in research spending, and although they have an idea of where the president priorities are for research, that was before the current budget situation.
“So I would say we’re wary, I think we’re anticipating that we are going to see downward trends in research support for the next few years until we get some stability,” Cohen says. Cohen says the money brought in has a big impact on the state. Cohen says the money employs some 9,000 people each year on a general impact, and he says it allows them to select the very best faculty.
Iowa State attracted just over $342 million in grants, contracts and funds from other sources, a decrease of nearly $46 million from last year. ISU vice president for research and economic development, Sharron Quisenberry, says the drop was also in part due to an end of stimulus funds.
She says there were not many changes overall. She says the National Science Foundation is still the major grant agency, and all of the others were up a little bit too. Quisenberry also says the current budget situation will have an impact on the future.
Quisenberry says they are cautiously optimistic, and she feels the National Institutes for Health will remain the same or grow, and they are hoping the other will too. She says they will have to be sure the grants they submit are the best they can and she believes the faculty is up to the task.
ISU has seen NASA funding slowly drop and with the shuttle program at an end, she is hoping some sort funding will continue for space research. Quisenberry says the space program in general has contributed a lot of discoveries, as she says that is where the miniaturization began.
She says the discoveries have been phenomenal from health to agriculture and other types of things. Quisenberry is pleased the school has stayed above $300 million in funding.
She says the fact the university has been able to secure that level of funding the last three years in difficult budget times shows the quality of the faculty, staff and students.