External Funding to Support USM Research and Education Increases by 7.2 Percent, Exceeds $1.279 Billion
Adelphi, Md. (Jan. 29, 2016) -- Funding from external sources to
support research, education and public service activities at University System
of Maryland (USM) institutions reached more than $1.279 billion during fiscal
year (FY) 2015, an increase of 7.2 percent from its FY 2014 levels.
"extramural" funding, including grants and contracts, is a major source of financial
support for the activities on USM campuses. Faculty and staff at USM
institutions obtain funding for research, education, and public service
activities from a number of sources. Those entities include the federal
government, Maryland state agencies, non-profit foundations, and corporations.
represented the system's second straight year of growth in extramural funding.
While this trend is promising, nationally the environment for securing federal
funding is always challenging. During FY 2015, institutions received higher funding
overall despite a slight decline in the number of awards (9,871) from the FY
2014 total (10,232).
grants and contracts allow USM institutions to meet such system-wide goals as
advancing Maryland's goal of 55-percent degree completion, advancing the
state's competitiveness in the innovation economy, and sustaining national
examples of these extramural funding initiatives follow below:
1) The USM is one of
15 higher education institutions in the United States to receive funding from
the U.S. Department of Education under the federal government's First in the
World (FITW) grant program. The four-year, $2.98 million award will fund USM's
work in helping students who pursue degrees in the liberal arts and social
sciences perform better in developmental mathematics courses early in their
the grant, USM will implement its Maryland Mathematics Reform Initiative
(MMRI), which will introduce a new statistics curriculum for students in these
majors. The statistics coursework would be as rigorous as the traditional
algebra/calculus curriculum sequence required to graduate, but much more
relevant to what liberal arts and social sciences students need for their
majors. The funding represents an important external source toward improving
retention and graduation rates for students in these disciplines.
2) The USM, including the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) and
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), is partnering with The
MITRE Corporation to operate the first federally funded research and
development center (FFRDC) solely dedicated to enhancing cybersecurity and
protecting national information systems. In October 2015, MITRE was selected to
operate the center by (NIST).
FFRDC will support the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE),
which NIST, the state of Maryland, and Montgomery County (Md.) established in 2012 to help businesses secure
their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together information security
experts from industry, government and academia.
3) A $1.25 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will
fund research, education and training at the intersections of digital
humanities and African American studies at UMCP in an effort to prepare a
diverse community of scholars and students whose work will both broaden the
reach of the digital humanities in African American history and cultural
studies and enrich humanities research with new methods, archives and tools.
4) At the School of Dentistry at UMB, investigator Robert Ernst and
his collaborators have discovered bacterial membrane components that promise
faster, more accurate diagnoses of common infections. Working now with new
collaborators at the biotechnology research firm MedImmune, Ernst is applying
his research on the design of new molecules to customize vaccine design. Ernst
has secured roughly $550,000 in funding (with more pending) from a diversity of
sources, including MedImmune, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and
5) Stephen Habey of the Salisbury University (SU) chemistry
department earned the campus' first competitive grant from NIH. The Academic
Research Enhancement Award, just more than $290,000, will expand research opportunities
for undergraduates and enhance SU's laboratory spaces with new equipment.
6) At Towson University, the Jess & Mildred Fisher College of
Science & Mathematics annually receives nearly $2 million in external
grants and contracts to support pure and applied research and curriculum
The full report on FY 2015 USM extramural funding can be read here (item 2).
Contact: Mike Lurie