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External Research Funding Climbs to $545M

Growth Credited to Work in Fields Such as Quantum, Data Analytics, Security, Health

By Maryland Today Staff

University of Maryland

Photo by John T. Consoli

Significant multiyear external research awards to UMD in the past year included $8 million to combat hearing loss in older Americans and $14.5 million for a new effort with NASA to improve global food security through satellite data.

Despite concerns over a changing federal funding landscape, the University of Maryland research enterprise garnered $545 million in external research funding in fiscal year 2018, an increase of 6 percent over last year, Vice President for Research Laurie Locascio announced yesterday.

The federal portion of research funding this year grew by $9.8 million, or 2.7 percent, she said. 

“Our growth this last fiscal year is a reflection of our talented researchers and their high-quality innovation, scholarship and research activities,” Locascio said. “It is recognition that the University of Maryland is a go-to source for impactful, multidisclipinary research expertise that has the potential to transform lives.”

External funding in the year ending June 30, 2017, was $515 million; 2016's total of $560 million was a record high.

The increase in external funding in 2018 reflects UMD researchers’ strengths in diverse fields ranging from environmental adaptation and sustainability; national and global security; advanced computing, data analytics and visualization; quantum science; transportation analytics; and human health, Locascio said.

Notable research accomplishments in FY2018 included: 

The first few months of 2019 have brought additional research news:

  • UMD’s growing role in NSF efforts to create the first practical quantum computer. 
  • An NIH grant for an ongoing research program to understand how the immune responses of ticks contribute to the spread of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
  • A grant from the NSF to establish a new graduate training and research program aimed at creating innovative and sustainable solutions for global food, energy and water systems.
  • new center designed to improve college and career outcomes for students and youth with disabilities. 
  • A grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation to establish multidisciplinary, graduate-level programs focused on training the next generation of reporters through hands-on investigative journalism projects. 


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