RIT Tallies Record Year for Sponsored Research Outreach

653 proposals submitted help secure nearly $52.5 million during fiscal year 2011

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A. Sue Weisler

Construction is under way for the Golisano Institute for Sustainability research facility, which is made possible in part by a $13.1 grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology during fiscal 2011.

An intensely competitive landscape for available funding did not deter Rochester Institute of Technology’s growing research community from requesting its share during the recently completed fiscal year.

During fiscal year 2011, RIT submitted a record 653 proposals for external research funding to a variety of federal, state, corporate and foundation sponsors—up from 647 proposals in the previous 12-month period. RIT has achieved a 32 percent increase in its volume of funding requests over the past five years.

“RIT is committed to enhancing faculty participation in research to both expand opportunities for funding and to properly address the challenging economic and budgetary environment,” says David Bond, director of Sponsored Research Services.

The university received a total of $52.5 million in funding during the most recent period, a decline from $54.8 million the previous year.

The largest sponsor of research at RIT is the federal government, which accounts for $38.3 million of awards received during fiscal year 2011. This includes a $13.1 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology supporting construction of a new research building for RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. It is the largest construction grant awarded by NIST in 2011 and becomes the largest competitive federal award in the university’s history.

Additional federal sources include a 25 percent hike in funding from the U.S. Department of Education and a 17 percent increase from defense and intelligence agencies in comparison to fiscal year 2010.

Highlighting RIT’s expanding commitment to research activity on campus, the university tallied $39.4 million in research and development expenditures last year, which it reports annually to the National Science Foundation.

“RIT has also gained in ‘market share’ of research funding and has moved up in NSF’s rankings against other universities,” Bond reports. “RIT increased expenditures by 33 percent for the last fiscal year reported. This reflects a growing critical mass of faculty, staff and students actively engaged in the research enterprise.”

For more information, visit the Scholarship and Research at RIT website.