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Research & Economic Development ORED Offices Make a Gift

UA Research Enterprise Enjoys Remarkable Year

August 17, 2022

The portion of faculty members engaged in externally funded research was the most in the history of The University of Alabama during the last academic year.  In addition, UA faculty receiving external lifetime honorific awards reached a historic high.

Faculty achievements are one of the numerous highlights of an advancing research enterprise at UA in the annual report of the Office for Research and Economic Development. This August’s report is the third annual update to the office’s five-year strategic plan.

ORED’s goals within the plan are meant to facilitate the growth and impact of the UA research enterprise toward the overarching goal of becoming one of the premier comprehensive research institutions in the Southeast over the next few years, while translating research productivity and innovation into economic and societal development and opening more opportunities for student experiences and success.

“The forward-thinking research endeavors at The University of Alabama continue to support our ranking among the top doctoral research universities in the United States,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “Our focus on water, transportation, life science, and rural health – among many other research concentrations – matters for the people of Alabama and beyond.”

Continued growth in collaborative, cross-disciplinary faculty research teams seeking large externally funded grants not only provides the framework to solve the most challenging societal problems but also provides enhanced opportunities for students to engage in impactful research.

“Faculty members engaged in research and scholarship enhances the University’s education mission in and out of the classroom as they remain on the cutting edge of their field and involve their students in broadening our understanding of the world and tackling tomorrow’s challenges,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development.

In the fiscal year 2021, UA had 38% (or 774 of its 2,025 faculty) engaged in externally funded research, which is the eighth straight year of increased externally sponsored awards.  In the same time period, UA faculty have received a record 553 lifetime honorific awards from national and international award-granting associations or agencies.

In all, sponsored awards brought $171 million to the University, and research and development expenditures, a measure of output on previously funded awards, jumped 36% to $129.5 million.

Also, submission of grant proposals to funding organizations was up during the year with proposals seeking nearly 37% more in funding than requested in 2020.

Behind the numbers, though, are projects that bring transformative change and economic diversification opportunities related to The New Water Economy and The New Electric Vehicle Economy, including:

To see more highlights from the past year, read the ORED annual report on its website.