UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s research expenditures reached a record high for the third year in a row in fiscal year 2018-19, according to incoming Senior Vice President for Research Lora Weiss. The total figure of $968 million represents a $47 million increase over last year’s figure, and includes a record $593 million in federal funding, as well as $375 million from a combination of private funders, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and University sources.
Weiss noted that a 13% increase in the Applied Research Laboratory's research expenditures was a major factor in achieving the record total.
“It’s gratifying to see the continued confidence the Department of Defense has in our research,” Weiss said. “We deeply value the partnership we have built over the years, and we’re exceedingly proud of Penn State’s role in national security.”
Overall, federal funding increased from $562 million to $593 million, including an additional $16 million from the Department of the Navy, as well as increased support from the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Research funding from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania increased from $68 million to $73 million, while funding from industry, foundations, and other sponsors held steady at $101 million.
Some notable examples of federally sponsored projects with strong interdisciplinary components were a grant of $3 million from the National Science Foundation to develop a graduate program to study food-energy-water problems at the landscape scale, the first $1.5 million of an anticipated $8.1 million award from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new paradigm for the personalized prediction and treatment of infectious disease, and the first $2.3 million increment of an anticipated $13.4 million from NIH for a project using mobile technologies to measure cognitive changes over the lifespan.