UCLA attracted record support for its wide-ranging research in the 2019–20 fiscal year, receiving $1.427 billion in research funding.
2020 is the third consecutive year that the university has topped its previous best. Research support has grown by 38% since 2015. UCLA now ranks sixth among all universities in total research expenditures.
“This is a tribute to the great work being done across disciplines at UCLA,” said Roger Wakimoto, vice chancellor for research. “These funds help bring about major breakthroughs in medical science, advance knowledge in numerous other disciplines, strengthen our teaching, and support faculty and student researchers in fields from math to microbiology. Despite fiscal challenges caused by the pandemic, grant support for UCLA research remains robust.”
Research funds must be used for the projects identified by sponsors, and cannot be applied to other university purposes. Nearly 60 cents of every research dollar directed to UCLA between July 2019 and June 2020 came from federal agencies. Industry-sponsored research and clinical studies trials provide 13% of external research funding; nonprofit and charitable organizations 11%, state government 9% and higher education institutions 8%.
Several large grants provide support for projects that are led by UCLA faculty members but also involve multiple universities and institutions. The largest funding agency is the National Institutes of Health, which awarded nearly $565 million to researchers in areas including AIDS, cancer, neurosciences, cardiovascular diseases, COVID-19 and mental health. Some highlights:
“The strong financial support is a reflection of the fact that extraordinary researchers in so many disciplines call UCLA home,” said Marcia Smith, UCLA associate vice chancellor for research administration. “And we are fortunate to have a terrific team of expert research administrators in our central offices and across campus who support our faculty in meeting the increasingly complex compliance requirements that come with research funding. Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the university remains well-positioned and committed to pursuing transformative research.”