KU News Release


April 12, 2012
Contact: Kevin Boatright, Office of Research and Graduate Studies, 785-864-7240

KU climbs in annual national ranking for federally funded research

LAWRENCE — Federally funded research at the University of Kansas increased in 2010 to a record $147.6 million. That figure ranked KU 41st among national public research universities, according to an annual survey released recently by the National Science Foundation.

KU ranked 44th in 2009, 43rd in 2008, and 44th in 2007. KU rose to 41st on the list in 2010 by surpassing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, North Carolina State University and Louisiana State University.

In the survey, KU ranked higher than any other public university in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma or Nebraska, and third among the nine current public Big 12 universities. The survey, which always lags by one year, ranked a total of 734 public and private universities nationwide. Combined, these institutions had $37.5 billion in federally funded research expenditures in 2010.

“Federally funded research grants are extremely competitive,” said Steve Warren, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, “especially for research in science and engineering, where KU excels. Our success in obtaining these grants is a credit to faculty at both campuses, who are entrepreneurial about seeking funding and highly regarded by the federal agencies that make the awards.”

Just as important is the human impact of federally funded research, said Paul Terranova, vice chancellor for research at the KU Medical Center. “Agencies in this category include the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education,” he said. “These grants directly affect health, the environment, schools and the quality of life in Kansas.”

Total KU research expenditures from all sources of external grants and contracts exceeded $224.6 million in 2010, with federal funding accounting for 82.8 percent of the total.

Warren pointed out that KU will be challenged to grow or maintain its level of externally sponsored research in the years ahead. “The federal budget outlook for research is very uncertain at this point,” he said. “Funding may decline, and that will hurt us and other research universities nationwide.” While federally funded research continued to grow at KU during 2011, that amount included short-term, one-time awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a stimulus program that has now expired.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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