VCU received record $335M in research funding for 2020
Led by $169M in federal funding, university research funding increased 8% from 2019
Virginia Commonwealth University received a record $335 million in sponsored funding for research during fiscal year 2020 — an 8% increase from 2019, the university announced Wednesday.
“VCU’s ongoing commitment to its faculty, interdisciplinary research and investment in research infrastructure have translated into these record levels — which have grown by a third — over the past decade,” VCU President Michael Rao said in a statement. “I applaud our community of scholars, whose groundbreaking research has a tremendous positive impact on the human experience.”
Researchers at VCU’s Monroe Park and MCV campuses saw funding growth this year from federal, state, industry and private funding agencies, P. Srirama Rao, VCU’s vice president for research and innovation said in a statement.
“Fiscal year 2020 translated into an outstanding year of accomplishments for VCU’s research community and our faculty and researchers are to be congratulated and recognized for their efforts,” Vice President Rao said in a statement. “Despite the many disruptions caused by the pandemic, they pressed forward with their research focused on VCU’s strategic initiatives of enriching our lives, achieving a just and equitable society, optimizing health and supporting sustainable energy and environments.”
The university received $169 million in total extramural federal funding, up 6% from last year, which includes nearly $92 million from the National Institutes of Health. VCU also saw increases in funding from the National Science Foundation, and the Departments of Education, Justice and Defense. Industry contributions rose by 26% to more than $37 million, which allowed for the university to begin clinical trials for COVID-19 therapies, such as remdesivir. The drug therapy was authorized by the FDA for emergency use on severe virus patients May 1, after 5-day and 10-day regimens proved successful at VCU and other hospitals.
VCU ranks as a top 100 research university based on research expenditures for nine consecutive years from the National Science Foundation. The university will also soon release an updated VCU Strategic Research Priorities Plan, which will outline growth planning for research at the university.
“In the coming weeks, we will share details about the proposal, developed by more than 90 faculty members, to implement our bold and ambitious plan,” Vice President Rao said in a statement. “This will serve as a framework to streamline investments leading to increased funding and growth, ultimately advancing excellence in research at VCU.”