VCU moves into top 100 in research rankings

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A big increase in research and development expenditures in both federal and total spending has elevated Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to a top 100 institution in the National Science Foundation rankings.

Research and development expenditures from federal grants and contracts for fiscal year 2010 increased 48 percent over fiscal 2009, which boosted VCU into the No. 79 position, up from No. 102. VCU saw a 31 percent increase in total expenditures, which bumped its ranking up nine places in that category to No. 98.

“This is a major achievement for which I am grateful to my faculty colleagues, and it is a wonderful testimony to our national competitiveness and our determination to elevate VCU as one of the nation’s premier public research universities,” VCU President Michael Rao said in a statement.

Increased expenditures during 2010 were due in part to federal stimulus funds.  “We were pleased with the success of our faculty in competing for research grants in that reporting period and expected that we’d see VCU climb in the NSF rankings,” said Francis Macrina, VCU’s vice president for research. ”But we were pleasantly surprised by the magnitude of climb, especially in the federal expenditure category.”

VCU has more than $255 million in sponsored research. In 2010, it received a $20 million National Institutes of Health grant to become part of a nationwide consortium of 60 research institutions working to turn laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients. In addition, VCU is home to the Massey Cancer Center, which has been supported and officially designated by the National Cancer Institute continuously since 1975.

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