Iowa State external funding reaches a record $425.8 million in fiscal year 2016

Eliot Winer in Iowa State's C6 virtual reality lab

With the support of a new grant, Iowa State's Eliot Winer will use his expertise in virtual and augmented reality to develop training tools for manufacturers. Larger photo. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University attracted a record $425.8 million of external funding in the 2016 fiscal year that ended June 30.

That’s a slight increase over the previous record of $424.9 million raised in fiscal year 2015.

“This record support shows that Iowa State truly has the talent and facilities to be a leader in educating students and solving problems,” said Iowa State President Steven Leath. “This outstanding support from government agencies, industry, foundations and individuals reinforces our tradition of cross-disciplinary work. And it positions us to do even more to impact our state, country and world.”

External funding includes grants, contracts, gifts and cooperative agreements from federal, state and local governments as well as from corporations, foundations and other universities.

The funds support Iowa State researchers, students, education programs, equipment purchases, building projects and extension activities. The funding is in addition to state appropriations, which support daily operations of the university.

A big part of Iowa State’s record year was unprecedented external support of Iowa State researchers. Research funding hit $252.5 million for fiscal year 2016. That’s a nearly 12 percent increase over the previous year’s research support of $225.7 million. The previous record for research funding was $239.2 million in fiscal year 2010.

“This jump in research funding is supporting exciting projects across the campus, including projects to develop new approaches in data-driven science, resilience of plants and animals in response to our changing climate, and educating students in next-generation plant science and electrical and computer engineering,” said Sarah Nusser, Iowa State’s vice president for research. “We’ve also seen research support from federal agencies, industry, nonprofits and the state grow to five-year highs. With all of this support, and the hard work and innovation of our researchers, we believe Iowa State can help future generations enjoy better lives.”

Here are a few examples of how this new funding is advancing Iowa State research and impacting society: With funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Adina Howe, an assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, will study antimicrobial resistance in animal production systems. The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation – Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute funded three new projects at Iowa State in advanced manufacturing. And Walter Suza, an adjunct assistant professor in agronomy, joins an international coalition funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve global food security.

 And here are some of Iowa State’s major sources of external funding during fiscal year 2016:

Federal agencies

  • Energy, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, $76,931,488
  • National Science Foundation, $38,144,481
  • Agriculture, $28,900,017
  • Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health, $12,931,909
  • Defense, $8,358,265
  • Transportation, $4,317,311
  • Other federal, $5,157,866

Non-federal sources

  • State of Iowa government, $22,207,158
  • Industry/corporate, $20,399,183
  • Higher education, $12,267,407
  • Nonprofit organizations, $11,295,851
  • Commodity groups, $6,482,671
  • Other, non-federal, $5,095,349

External funding total (including many other sources)