For the eighth straight year, UCSB has received a record amount of research funds from external sources – totaling $161.4 million.

This year’s funding, an increase of 12 percent compared to last year, came in the form of 1,081 individual research contracts and grants pledged to the university during the June 2003 to June 2004 fiscal year by various federal and state agencies, corporations and foundations.

Associate Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs Paul Desruisseaux said he thinks UCSB is receiving more money than ever before because campus research programs are growing more prestigious.

“Our research capabilities are growing stronger all the time,” Desruisseaux said. “We obtain funds that match up with our research interests and strengths.”

Funds awarded to UCSB have doubled over the last ten years. In a press release, Acting Vice Chancellor of Research Steve Gaines wrote that the combined contributions of faculty, students and staff are responsible for the rapid increase.

“It is a significant increase over the prior year’s record total and the biggest dollar increase in more than a decade,” Gaines wrote. “One of the important things the statistics show is the continued innovation of our faculty and the superb contributions of graduate and undergraduate students who work with them to create a better world.”

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang also attributed the record high funds to the efforts of UCSB researchers.

“This magnificent achievement in research funding is yet another indicator of the vitality and enormous intellectual resources of the campus and extraordinary contributions of UCSB’s prize-winning faculty,” Yang wrote. “I have found it tremendously rewarding to witness UCSB’s rapid upward trajectory in every measure of excellence over the years.”

Six UCSB professors have received Nobel Prizes – most recently professor Finn Kydland, who won the 2004 prize in economics. Also this year, professor David J. Gross received the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics.

Awards from federal agencies increased by 14 percent compared to the previous fiscal year’s total of $121 million. Support by federal agencies account for 75 percent of the total funds awarded to UCSB.
Other major contributors include the U.S. Department of Energy, which increased its contributions by 41 percent, awarding a total of $7.7 million to UCSB. The Army awarded up to $50 million over five years to the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, an interdisciplinary research program at UCSB, Caltech and MIT. The program focuses on biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials science and systems engineering.

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Microsystems Technologies Office awarded $15.8 million over a four year contract for the research program LASOR: Label-Switched Optical Router, the goal of which is to explore technical advances that can better route Internet traffic.