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UC San Diego Passes $100 Million
Mark for Federal Stimulus Funds

University Researchers Submit More Than 1,000 Proposals for Projects

November 17, 2009

By Paul K. Mueller

Surpassing the $40 million in federal stimulus the university reported in August, the University of California, San Diego has now received more than $100 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, with numerous proposals for additional support still being evaluated.

Channeled through existing federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, the ARRA funds support research in medicine, biology, chemistry, oceanography, engineering and other fields – research that UC San Diego is noted for translating into innovations, medical breakthroughs, jobs and new businesses in San Diego and California.

“This vital federal support for UC San Diego will help us deliver the benefits of our research from the campus to the community,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “Our goal is to produce a return on investment that’s even more impressive.”

The university reached the $10-million mark for ARRA funding in June and the $40-million mark in August, said Vice Chancellor for Research Arthur B. Ellis. “The $100-million milestone demonstrates not only the scientific and scholarly merits of our proposals, but also the incredible level of effort by our faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate and undergraduate students,” he said. “We’ve submitted more than 1,000 proposals to date in a tough, competitive, funding environment.”

One of the larger projects recently funded by ARRA is the pediatric imaging, neurocognition and genetics (PING) project. Thanks to a grant of $8,950,590 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, researchers at UC San Diego are using sophisticated gene-mapping tools and imaging technology to collect a wealth of data about brain development in children.  Faculty members from at least seven different university departments participate in the research. 

Typically, about 70 percent of funding for research supports the salaries of faculty, staff and students conducting that research, Ellis said, and many projects evolve into larger endeavors and generate discoveries, inventions, patents and licensing agreements that can help create additional jobs.

In their proposals for ARRA funds, researchers must identify, in addition to the scholarly benefits, the broad positive impacts of the research on their communities. Successful UC San Diego projects have described educational and community-outreach efforts associated with the funded research, including:

  • Directly involving undergraduate and graduate students in the work, and incorporating the research topics into new courses and seminars.
  • Using such programs as the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) to bring understanding of the research to San Diego-area K-12 students and underserved communities.
  • Disseminating research results to national and international audiences using both conventional and web-based media.
  • Making associated software and other research tools and results readily accessible to others.
  • Developing materials for middle-school and high-school science classes, in collaboration with such regional entities as the R.H. Fleet Science Museum in San Diego.  

“As a public institution,” said Ellis, “we expect our research enterprise to leverage these new resources in many ways to benefit San Diego, our state, and our nation.”


Media Contact: Paul K. Mueller, 858-534-8564 or pkmueller@ucsd.edu

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