Michigan Tech Research Funding Climbs

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Sponsored programs use external funding to support research, education and outreach.
Sponsored programs use external funding to support research, education and outreach.

Research funding at Michigan Technological University increased by more than 28 percent during the past fiscal year. Support for sponsored programs during fiscal year 2009 totaled $53.1 million, compared to $41.8 million during the previous fiscal year. 

Sponsored programs include various kinds of external funding for research, instruction, community outreach and other University programming.

“The increase in external funding for Michigan Tech in these troubled economic times is nothing short of amazing,” said David Reed, vice president for research. And it is on track to keep going up.  Through Sept. 30, 2009—the end of the first quarter of FY2010—sponsored awards were almost 60 percent above the first quarter of FY09.

Michigan Tech has also received nearly $6.6 million so far in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), often called federal stimulus funds.

The amount of research funding Michigan Tech receives is one of the metrics used to measure the University’s progress toward its strategic goals. Tech’s sponsored program award goal for 2012 is $76.6 million.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), which tracks university research expenditures, recently reported fiscal year 2008 figures.  In the NSF’s most recent report, Michigan Tech’s science and engineering research expenditures for FY08 were $58.8, a 6.3 percent increase over 2007. The amount of research expenditures ranked the University 163rd nationally, the same rank Tech achieved in FY07. 

“Expenditures always lag behind awards,” Reed explained.  The University gets the award all at once but spends it over the length of the research project, which can extend as long as five years.”

Michigan Tech was one of three Michigan universities whose science and engineering research expenditures rose during FY08, however. The other two were the University of Michigan, which rose 8.4 percent and ranked fourth nationally, and Wayne State University, which increased 6 percent but dropped from 73rd to 75th in national ranking.  Michigan State University's research expenditures dipped 1.1 percent, lowering it from 44th to 50th nationally.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.