UC receives record $314M in research awards

Grants for research across colleges have nearly doubled at UC since FY2018 

The University of Cincinnati received a record $314 million in research awards in 2023, topping the previous year by 17% as the university pursues new innovations across its colleges.

UC’s research awards have nearly doubled since fiscal year 2018.

Research expenditures at UC and its affiliates reached an unprecedented $699 million in 2023, a 14% increase over the previous year. UC's research partners include Cincinnati Children’s, UC Health, the Cincinnati VA and the University of Cincinnati Research Institute.

UC's research priorities are also reflected in its ranking in the National Science Foundation's Higher Education Research and Development Survey for 2021-22, in which UC improved two spots for public institutions (No. 31) and drove into the top-50 in the overall rankings (No.  49).

“Our continued research growth helps secure our place among the premiere institutions in the nation,” UC President Neville Pinto said.

“I’m incredibly appreciative that our faculty hold such a deep commitment to the teacher-scholar model. Their innate curiosity and insatiable appetite for discovery lead to essential breakthroughs and foundational advances in understanding.”

John C. Byrd, MD, in lab with his research team.

UC College of Medicine Assistant Professor Erin Hertlein, left, consults with John Byrd, MD, chairman of internal medicine at UC Health. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Marketing + Brand

The sharp rise of UC’s awards would not be possible without extraordinary talent, but it is also a direct result of investments in people and infrastructure as a part of UC's strategic direction called Next Lives Here and its Research2030 initiative, said Patrick Limbach, UC’s vice president for research.

“UC is the leading R1 urban university in the region with unrivaled talent solving problems that matter, transforming society through game-changing new knowledge and applying disruptive discoveries.”

At the core of the rising success of research at UC is the brilliance and drive of each individual researcher and student and the hard work and dedication of our staff.

Patrick Limbach, UC Office of Research

One illustration of how UC researchers are striving for a healthier future is through cancer research and clinical trials, including a $1.5 million grant to Dr. John Byrd, a $400,000 grant to Dr. Pier Paolo Scaglioni and $250,000 to Drs. Shan Lu and Zhongyun Dong, among many others. In addition, UC was awarded $71 million in industry-sponsored clinical trials, which represents about 20% of UC's total sponsored awards.

“Clinical and scientific research is central to the mission of UC Health and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine,” said Brett Kissela, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Research at the UC College of Medicine and Chief of Research Services for UC Health.

“We are proud of our talented faculty who combine research and compassionate clinical care to help advance medicine for all,” he said.

“Clinical trials allow patients to access promising new therapies which could improve their outcomes while helping to scientifically define the best treatments for future patients. Improving cancer patients' lives is among our top priorities. The outstanding research programs underway now within the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center will have a tremendous impact on cancer patients in our community and beyond.”

Two people in head-to-toe protective gear work at a machine.

Students learn about microchip fabrication in the Mantei Center Cleanroom directed by UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Professor Rashmi Jha. Photo/Corrie Mayer/CEAS Marketing

Another important area for both the university and the region revolves around semiconductor research and manufacturing.

The new Intel Corp. semiconductor plant northwest of Columbus will draw heavily upon UC graduates and expertise of faculty such as UC engineering Professor Marc Cahay, who is working with other universities in the region to train students for high-tech careers.

Likewise, the National Science Foundation has invested in several related projects led by UC researchers such as Sarah Watzman, who is researching next-generation semiconductors, and Rashmi Jha, who is developing novel memory devices for high-density data storage and in-memory computing.

Among federal sponsors of research, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services accounted for half of UC’s total, including $119 million from the National Institutes of Health and its subsidiaries. Other major sponsors include the U.S. Department of Defense ($18 million), the U.S. Department of Education ($15 million) and the National Science Foundation ($14 million). In addition, state funding accounted for $9 million in awards.

“The impact of growing research and grant success at the University of Cincinnati is remarkable,” says Valerio Ferme, PhD, executive vice president for academic affairs and UC's provost.

“Our faculty’s transformative, investigative work exposes students to new knowledge. Further, it pushes the boundaries of students’ learning inside and outside the classroom in all disciplines from the sciences to the creative arts, and from the humanities to the varied professional fields that comprise our educational disciplines.”

“At the core of the rising success of research at UC is the brilliance and drive of each individual researcher and student and the hard work and dedication of our staff,” UC's Limbach said.

Featured image at top: UC College of Pharmacy Associate Professor Timothy Phoenix is studying immunotherapy treatments for brain tumors. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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Lab, Research
UC biomedical engineering professor Stacey Schutte has a new study with the College of Medicine examining potential new treatments for uterine fibroids.

UC Research Associate Andreja Moset Zupan, left, and Assistant Professor Stacey Schutte study new avenues to treat fibroids in Schutte's biomedical engineering lab. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here.

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