Published: Sept. 16, 2016

University of Colorado Boulder researchers were awarded nearly $437 million in research grants in the 2015-16 fiscal year, continuing a decade’s worth of robust growth in sponsored research funding for the campus.

The preliminary total of $436.8 million in awards marks the second-highest yearly funding total in campus history, topped only by the 2009-10 fiscal year that benefited from a one-time influx of federal stimulus dollars. Final funding totals will be available later this fall.

“We’re thrilled about our sponsored research funding, which highlights the impact CU Boulder research is creating here in Colorado, across the U.S. and the world. Investments like this strengthen our position as one of the leading public research universities and reflect the tremendous amount of innovative research taking place on campus and our prolific collaborations with key federal agencies and industry partners," said Terri Fiez, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.

Approximately $332 million (76 percent) of this fiscal year’s funding came from high-profile federal agencies such as NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The remaining $104.6 million (24 percent) was comprised of international, state and local grants as well as nonprofit and industry partnerships. Examples of funded projects include a $7.5 million study on how gut microbes affect sleep, continued support of the MAVEN mission to Mars and campuswide collaborations, such as the Grand Challenge, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative and AeroSpace Ventures.

The funding contributed to a record-breaking year overall for CU’s four-campus system. CU Colorado Springs earned $8 million, CU Denver earned $25 million and CU Anschutz Medical Campus earned $454.2 million for a total of $924 million in awards, an increase of nearly $46 million over the previous year.

Annual research funding at CU Boulder has increased 70 percent since the 2006 fiscal year.

a student tests an aerial drone in Boulder, Colorado

Aerospace Engineering graduate student Anthony Carfang launches a UAV for testing north of Boulder, Colorado. Photo: Glenn Asakawa / University of Colorado Boulder