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Faculty Research Funding on the Rise

Pamela Johnsonby Pamela J. Johnson
Michael Quick, executive vice dean for academic affairs, was pleased with the increase.

Photo/Philip Channing

Research funding at USC College has risen 30 percent in the past three years to nearly $67 million, with the most significant gains in grants from corporations and foundations.

Through the efforts of the College research and advancement offices, private funding from corporations and foundations more than doubled in the past three years to a total of $15 million awarded in fiscal year 2007.

New faculty activity helped too. Of the $66.9 million total, $7.7 million came as contracts and grants to College faculty hired since 2004.

“USC College is attracting a higher quality of researchers than ever before,” said Michael Quick, executive vice dean for academic affairs. “And they’re arriving with active research profiles.”

Annual federal funding has spiked by 21 percent since 2004 to $47.3 million. However, reflecting the national trend, federal funding now makes up a smaller slice of the pie. In 2004, federal grants represented 77 percent of the College’s annual awards. It now represents 71 percent.

Quick was pleased with the overall increase, especially in light of the heightened competition for federal funding. Just a few years ago, the National Institutes of Health would fund one in four grant proposals. Now, the government agency funds about one in 10 proposals, he said.

“Federal funding has really gotten grim,” Quick said. “One would expect to see a drop in overall College funding from federal sources, but it’s still going up, so that’s great.”

Quick praised the faculty.

“When we see how successful our faculty is at getting these grants in such a competitive environment � it’s the highest accolade they can get.”

The College also has added staff members to its development and research offices who work closely with professors seeking grants.

The faculty members awarded the largest individual grants in the fiscal year 2006-07 are:

� Thomas Jordan, University Professor, holder of the William M. Keck Foundation Chair in Geological Sciences and director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, headquartered at the College

� Mark Thompson, professor of chemistry and materials science

� Michael Waterman, University Professor, holder of the USC Associates Chair in Natural Sciences and professor of biological sciences, computer science and mathematics

� John McArdle, professor of psychology and gerontology

� Myron Goodman, professor of biological sciences and chemistry

� Kenneth Nealson, holder of the Wrigley Chair in Environmental Studies and professor of earth sciences and biological sciences

� Antonio Damasio, holder of the David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience, professor of psychology and director of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, based at the College

� Linda Duguay, research associate professor ofbiological sciences and director of USC Sea Grant, based at the College.

� Anthony Michaels, professor of biological sciences and director of the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, based at the College

� Michel Baudry, professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering.