August 20, 2004
CHAPEL HILL — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s sponsored research funding jumped 7.5 percent in fiscal 2004 to $577.6 million – up from $537.4 million in 2003.The new totals, finalized recently by the university’s Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), showed overall increases in research grants awarded to faculty from the federal government, other government agencies and private sources.

“The research conducted by our faculty represents one of the most vital ways in which Carolina engages with the citizens of North Carolina and throughout the world,” said Chancellor James Moeser. “Faculty at Carolina are making discoveries and bringing technology to market that enhance and help save lives. Some of that research is forming the basis of spin-off companies, which help transform our state’s economy by creating jobs and attracting new investments in North Carolina.”

Dr. Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development, said faculty discoveries had resulted in 25 spin-off companies. Since 2000, he added, 182 U.S. patents based on faculty discoveries had been issued, and 287 inventions licensed.

Federally funded research accounted for the biggest gains in UNC’s 2004 funding total. That funding rose to $429.8 million from $397 million – up 8.3 percent from fiscal year 2003. Among the federal agencies included in this category are the departments of defense, health and human services, and education; and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The largest agency-funding total came from the Department of Health and Human Services, at $324.2 million to the university, a 5.2 percent increase from fiscal 2003. (The National Institutes of Health is an agency of this department.)

The other government category, which includes state and local governments as well as out-of-state governments, totaled $42 million, up 1.8 percent from 2003. In addition, privately funded research increased 6.6 percent, from $99.2 million to $105.8 million. The sponsors represented in this category include foundations, industry and non-profits.

For fiscal year 2004, OSR reviewed 3,121 proposals and managed 8,297 active contracts and grants. In addition to receiving sponsored program awards totaling $577.6 million, OSR processed expenditures exceeding $523 million, more than a $20 million increase from fiscal 2003.

“Our faculty constantly compete for research funding, and they succeed on the merits of their work,” said Waldrop. “Behind these impressive statistics are discoveries and innovations that will make a real difference in people’s lives.”

The three colleges or schools receiving the highest levels of total awarded funding for 2004 were the School of Medicine ($303.5 million, a 4.8 percent increase from the previous year), the College of Arts and Sciences ($58.2 million, a 13 percent increase) and the School of Public Health ($56.5 million, a 2.9 percent decrease).

Research unaffiliated to a specific school totaled $104.3 million in fiscal year 2004, a 15.3 percent increase from the fiscal year 2003 total of $90.4 million. Examples of unaffiliated research areas are the Carolina Environmental Program, which received a $1.6 million NSF grant to study the interaction of nutrients and microbes in the Neuse River, and the Carolina Population Center.

This center had the largest funding of any unaffiliated program, at $28.4 million. In fiscal 2004, it was announced that the center received the largest social science award in the university’s history: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a cooperative agreement that providing the center with $70 million over five years for the second phase of its MEASURE Evaluation Project.


News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or

For further information please contact Emily Smith either by phone at 919-966-8498 or by email at


Gillings Admissions: 233 Rosenau Hall, (919) 445-1170
Student Affairs: 263 Rosenau Hall, (919) 966-2499
Dean's Office: 170 Rosenau Hall, (919) 966-3215
Business and Administration: 170 Rosenau Hall, (919) 966-3215
Academic Affairs: 307 Rosenau Hall, (919) 843-8044
Inclusive Excellence: 207B Rosenau Hall, (919) 966-7430
Room Reservations

135 Dauer Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7400