Research on the Upswing
Pillar Investment Paying Off
Daniel C. Flynn, vice president for research, unveiled a report looking at five-year's worth of data during a recent meeting of the research leadership from across the university. All of the metrics are up from last fiscal year, and way up from five years ago when he started implementing changes based on President John Kelly's Strategic Plan for the Race to Excellence 2015-2025.
Overall, the research plan laid out back then is working, Flynn told the group, which included assistant research deans, pillar directors and the executive team of the Division of Research. Some of the highlights for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30, include:
- Total research expenditures are up more than 5 percent from the previous fiscal year, and they're more than double what they were five years ago.
- The total grant awards are increased by 9 percent, and are close to double from the beginning of the plan.
- Grant applications submitted — up 6 percent, to 655. Out of those, funding agencies awarded 476 applications.
Revenue for the Research Core Facilities almost doubled. Scholarly journal publication, which is an output of faculty research, scholarship and creative activity, has also been on the way up. In addition, there have been some potentially lucrative deals made with companies licensing faculty intellectual property, Flynn said.
FAU's top research officer also laid out how the university's investment in four core areas of research strength, known as the pillars, has paid off. In the last five years, the university put in $27.3 million in bringing on new faculty and creating infrastructure. That has resulted in $56.4 million of new grants and contracts going to research projects, including $28 million that came from the result of federal lobbying efforts enabled by the pillars.
Overall, the strategic plan has brought in $76 million in new awards since its inception, Flynn said.
"The investment in the pillars has been quite good," he said. "I think all in all this has been a successful program."
Looking at the new fiscal year, Flynn expects research expenditures to continue to go up, albeit maybe at a slower pace, and for grant awards to stay on the rise. Several larger initiatives include additional work with the Department of Defense and with a new clinical research partner. He plans to continue working with FAU legislators on the federal and state level seeking money to support programs investigating harmful algal blooms and hurricane forecasting.
For a more detailed look at Flynn's presentation, click here.