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UF Health research powers university’s record research spending

UF Health’s six colleges led the way to a record $1.25 billion in University of Florida research expenditures in fiscal 2023.

The six colleges within the University of Florida Health helped power a record $1.25 billion in university research expenditures in fiscal 2023, delivering nearly half of a total that dwarfs all but a handful of institutions nationally.

UF is one of about 35 public and private universities surpassing $1 billion in research spending generated through competitive awards to faculty from public and private entities funding scientific advancement.

The UF College of Medicine in Gainesville and Jacksonville generated $378 million in research expenditures. That was followed by the College of Public Health and Health Professions at $34.9 million; the College of Pharmacy at $34.8 million; the College of Veterinary Medicine at $31.3 million; the College of Dentistry at $18.7 million; and the College of Nursing at $5 million.

In addition, 2023 marked the first full year that The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology in Jupiter was part of UF’s research enterprise, accounting for $97.6 million in research spending.

These totals are based on UF’s response to the National Science Foundation’s annual Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey, which is the national standard in comparing research spending among hundreds of universities around the country. The numbers reflect spending for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

“Since 2012, UF research expenditures have increased by nearly 80%, nearly doubling the rate of growth for university research spending nationally,” said David Norton, vice president for research at UF. “This success is a testament to the remarkable talent and dedication of our research faculty, post-docs, staff and students, as well as our focus on addressing opportunities and challenges that are highly relevant locally, nationally and globally across all disciplines.”

In recognition of UF’s significance in cancer research and patient care, the UF Health Cancer Center received the National Cancer Institute, or NCI, designation in 2023. The center has doubled its research funding since 2016, with $48.8 million in total cancer research grants and 359 cancer research projects underway. Other major UF Health research thrusts include studies on neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, pain management, antibiotic resistance, diabetes, and the application of artificial intelligence to accelerate biomedical research and improve health outcomes.

Total UF research spending increased 15% in fiscal 2023 as faculty added $160 million in research spending from the previous year’s total. This year’s success was due in large part to a record $530 million in spending on projects funded by the federal government and nearly $200 million in state and local government spending. Both were up about 13%.

In a sign of things to come, UF also surpassed $1 billion in new external awards for the first time in 2023, including $792 million from the federal government, nearly $77 million from state and local governments, $98 million from private foundations and $61 million from industry.

Public and private agencies typically award multiyear funding to the university based on competitive proposals submitted by researchers. That funding translates into laboratory supplies and equipment, salaries for faculty, staff and students, and other expenses.

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