UF is just $135 million shy of receiving $1 billion in yearly research spending.
On Friday, the university announced the nearly 8 percent, or $63.6 million, increase from 2017, said Brian Harfe, the associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The $865 million became a new record high in 2018.
“We’re very excited about all the research that is going to come out of the funds that are coming in,” Harfe said. “The money has just arrived, so going forward we’ll see the results of what happens with all of this research money.”
Of the $865 million of expenditures, life sciences research totaled $656.3 million, federal research totaled $355.5 million, state and local research totaled $174.1 million, foundations research totaled $44.3 million and engineering research totaled $93.6 million.
The ultimate goal is to reach $1 billion, although there is no definitive timeline of when that will be, Harfe said.
The real research begins during the years after the money has come in, Harfe said. The university takes time to hire staff and faculty to work on research projects, and the results of the research money arise in the following years.
In 2017, the UF physics department received a $10 million grant to study quantum computing, Harfe said. Psychology professor Dorothy Espelage received a $1 million grant from the US Department of Justice to study bullying in 2017.
“Research expenditures is a good measure of the health of an institution’s research endeavors,” said UF spokesperson Steve Orlando.
Alex Smith, a 20-year-old UF materials science and engineering junior, is currently working in a research lab that utilizes spending on engineering in the development of materials.
An increase in research spending provides opportunities for more equipment and materials needed to complete more projects, he said.
“I am proud of our university’s emphasis on research across departments and disciplines,” Smith said. “It shows our invested effort into expanding upon scientific understanding.”
Correction: UF is less than $135 million away from reaching $1 billion dollars in yearly research spending. The Alligator previously reported otherwise.