September 22, 2022

CU research funding tops $1B for sixth straight year

BOULDER — For the sixth time in as many years, researchers at the University of Colorado lured more than $1 billion in sponsored funding and gifts.

For the 2021-2022 year, researchers brought in $1.46 billion, a 1% increase from the prior year. 

“CU’s faculty researchers are exceptional in the many ways they advance research, scholarship and creative work,” CU president Todd Saliman said in a prepared statement. “Their work improves lives, saves lives and addresses some of the most serious issues facing society. They foster discovery and innovation that benefits Colorado and the world.”

Research sponsored by the federal government accounted for $863.8 million of the total, followed by non-federal government contributions of $484.5 million and gifts to the CU Foundation of $116.3 million, the university reported Thursday. 

“Sponsored research funding from federal, state, international and foundation entities targets specific projects to advance research in laboratories and in the field,” CU said. “Research funding also helps pay for research-related capital improvements, scientific equipment, travel and salaries for research and support staff and student assistantships. CU cannot divert this funding to non-research-related expenses.”

Of the four CU campuses, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus was responsible for $777.8 million in research funding, with the Boulder campus a close second at $658 million. CU’s Denver and Colorado Springs campuses brought in less than $30 million combined. 

At CU Boulder, research projects in the last year include a study of hypersonic flight. 

“During hypersonic flight, the temperature of air and other gases around a vehicle can reach thousands of degrees, triggering chemical reactions. Research fueled by a $7.5 million U.S. Department of Defense grant at CU Boulder investigates the breakdown and collisions of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon molecules in this environment using advanced computational modeling and experimental tests with molecular beams, shock tubes and hypersonic wind tunnels,” the university said. “Hypersonics is an active area of research around the world for national defense purposes.”

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