Iowa State's external funding hits record $305.2 million in fiscal year 2009

AMES, Iowa - Iowa State University attracted $305.2 million in grants, contracts, gifts and cooperative agreements during fiscal year 2009, an increase of $31.1 million over the previous year and a record high. This funding is in addition to the fiscal year 2009 state appropriation of $284 million for the university's day-to-day operations.

Iowa State's previous record for external funding was $287 million in fiscal year 2005.

"This record in external support reflects the great work our faculty, staff, and students are doing at Iowa State University," said Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy. "It is especially impressive that in these very challenging economic times so many government agencies, businesses, foundations and others are choosing to invest their funds in our programs. This record amount also illustrates how effectively our researchers are competing for the funds to advance their projects, all of which helps Iowa State accomplish our mission of creating, sharing and applying knowledge to make Iowa and the world a better place."

The external funding supports research across campus as well as educational projects, student financial aid, buildings, equipment and extension activities. It comes directly to Iowa State from federal, state and local government sources as well as from corporations, foundations and other universities.

Most of last fiscal year's $31.1 million jump in external funding can be attributed to a correction in how the university counts funds that flow through the Iowa State University Foundation from external foundations, associations, businesses and other contributors. In addition, prior to this past fiscal year, funding figures from the ISU Foundation were based on expenditures rather than awards received.

Iowa State's biggest single source of external funding is the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Iowa State attracted $35.7 million from USDA last fiscal year. The second highest single source was the National Science Foundation at $28.2 million, a record high from that agency. Of the $305.2 million in total funding, $170 million was directed to research projects based on proposals submitted by ISU faculty and scientific staff.

"The future of the university depends on our capability of building programs with a competitive edge that will be successful in obtaining extramural funding," said Sharron Quisenberry, Iowa State's vice president for research and economic development. "These research programs will allow us to better serve the state of Iowa."


Iowa State research projects supported by external funding during the past fiscal year included:

● $3.25 million from the National Science Foundation to support establishment of an NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals based at Iowa State

● $2.75 million from the National Academy of Sciences for geotechnical research to facilitate rapid highway renewal

● $2.55 million from ConocoPhillips for biofuels research

● $2.49 million from the National Institutes of Health for the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute and its programs to prevent youth substance abuse and other problem behaviors

● $2.37 million from the Iowa Office of Energy Independence to study and develop a clean gasification system for renewable power, energy and ethanol from biomass

● $1.98 million from the National Science Foundation to study national energy and transportation infrastructures

● $1.69 million from the Iowa Office of Energy Independence to develop efficient, low-cost solar energy