Statement to Board of Trustees on FY2019 External Grant Funding

IU Board of Trustees
External Relations Committee Meeting

Thursday, August 08, 2019


Thank you very much, Chairman Gonso.

This afternoon, I have the great pleasure of making an announcement that once again confirms Indiana University’s status as one of the leading public research universities in the United States. The figures I share this afternoon are a powerful measure of how Indiana University contributes mightily to a prosperous and innovative Indiana. They also advance major priorities of IU’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan.

External funding for research and other activities

I am delighted to report, then, that in Fiscal Year 2019, IU researchers received a record $680.2 million in external funding for research and other activities. This is the highest total of external grant funding obtained by any research university in the state during the last fiscal year and the highest annual total in IU history.

The previous funding record of $614.1 million was set in Fiscal Year 2016.

This year's figure is more than 12 percent higher than the total received in Fiscal Year 2018, which was itself a near-record—and it represents an increase of nearly 45 percent since 2009.

The $680.2 million includes a record $378.1 million in federal grants and contracts, $53.6 million in awards from the National Science Foundation, and nearly $68 million in sponsored funding from industry.

It includes a total of $208.3 million in non-governmental grants, which is also an IU record.

IU received a record $234.9 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the major federal government source of support for health sciences research in the United States.

Much of this record funding is for medical research at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis, although there are also important research initiatives under way at IU's eight regional medical education and research centers around the state.

The university's largest single grant from the NIH, a grant of $44.7 million, is supporting an IU-led, five-year national study of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

In Fiscal Year 2019, the School of Medicine brought in a total of nearly $434 million in research funding from all sources, up from $355.1 million in the previous Fiscal Year.

More than 2,800 proposals submitted by IU faculty researchers were successfully funded during Fiscal Year, 2019. This number is only slightly below the previous record, set last year.

This is a truly extraordinary accomplishment, one that underscores Indiana University’s standing as the state's research powerhouse. It reflects the excellence and importance of IU faculty research in a funding environment that continues to grow increasingly more competitive. It also is testament to the thousands of IU faculty, staff and students who form the teams that develop the university’s high-quality research proposals and whose ideas and work are being favorably judged by their peers around the nation and world at a time when only the most promising research proposals are securing support. The outstanding research being conducted by IU faculty, staff, and students expands knowledge, drives innovation, creates new industries and jobs, leads to new treatments and cures for illness and disease, spurs economic growth, and supports a high standard of living.

This record success is also a result of the investments Indiana University has made over the last decade in new and renovated facilities, in programs and services that benefit our faculty and students, and, of course, in recruiting excellent new faculty.


I want to commend all those who helped make this record achievement in sponsored awards possible—including our outstanding research faculty, the research administration staff, and the many students—at both the graduate and undergraduate levels—who are engaged in research on IU's campuses.

And, of course, I want to thank you, the trustees, for your support of Indiana University's research initiatives and, more generally, for your continued and ongoing efforts to guard and care for the welfare of our institution.

As we prepare for Indiana University’s third century of service, our mission must be—as it has always been—to confirm our traditions of excellence in our fundamental missions of education, research, and service, and by so doing, ensure that Indiana University will be a leader among the great universities of the 21st century.

And now, I am pleased to invite Distinguished Professor Fred Cate, Indiana University’s vice president for research, and Steve Martin, associate vice president for research administration, to share more details on this new record.