Image credit: Matthew Druckenmiller, NSIDC
CU Boulder researchers attracted a record $634.4 million in fiscal year 2021 for studies that, among other things, examine how artificial intelligence can transform education, led to the United Arab Emirate’s Hope spacecraft orbiting Mars, and address threats posed by climate change in the Arctic.
The university obtained grants from a range of government agencies, non-profit organizations and industry partners. NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Commerce, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy continue to be the largest federal funding sources for CU Boulder awards.
The CU Boulder funding is part of the $1.45 billion awarded to all four system campuses in fiscal year 2021.
“This year’s research funding for the CU Boulder campus is a testament to the resilience and collaborative spirit of our entire research enterprise,” said Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Terri Fiez. “Our researchers not only contributed to mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on campus and beyond; they also continued to transcend disciplines and even institutions to unlock greater impact through collaborative research initiatives that are drawing attention across the world.”
At CU Boulder, here are a few research program highlights:
The 2020–21 systemwide total marks the fifth consecutive year that the CU system’s annual sponsored research funding and gifts have topped $1 billion. This year’s tally increased 3% over the previous year’s $1.41 billion mark.
“In addition to meeting Colorado’s workforce and education needs, CU is distinguished by the far-reaching and profound impact of its research and discovery,” said CU President Todd Saliman. “That our faculty continue to attract such impressive levels of funding speaks volumes about the caliber of their work and its potential to transform lives.”
A significant amount of sponsored research funding is directed to departments and researchers with unique expertise, such as biotechnology and aerospace, which stimulates industry.
Sponsored research funding from federal, state, international and foundation entities targets specific projects to advance research in laboratories and in the field. 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.