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Ohio State reports more than $1.236 billion in annual research expenditures

Federal research spending grew 7.7%

The Ohio State University’s annual research and development expenditures crossed a record-breaking threshold in 2021.

New analysis from Ohio State’s Enterprise for Research, Innovation and Knowledge shows research expenditures for the 2021 fiscal year were $1.236 billion. The analysis is part of the university’s Office of Research submission to the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey.

The HERD survey is the primary source of information on research and development expenditures at U.S. colleges and universities. The survey collects information on research and development expenditures by field of research and source of funds and gathers information on types of research, expenses and personnel.

“The record-breaking milestone highlights the university’s growing capacity in transformational research and our commitment as a leading land-grant research university,” said Gary Heminger, chair of the Board of Trustees. “It is also a testament to the hard work and innovation that drives our faculty, students and staff.”

President Kristina M. JohnsonOhio State President Kristina M. Johnson announced a goal to double the university’s research expenditures in a decade at her 2021 State of the University address.

“Research is the starting point for innovation, leading to groundbreaking discoveries that have the power to change our lives for the better. It forms the very foundation of Ohio State’s mission as a land-grant university, enabling us to fulfill our ultimate goals of educating a new generation of leaders and giving back to the community,” Johnson said. “That is why I have committed to doubling research and development expenditures over the next decade, and it is incredibly gratifying and encouraging to see our progress. The projects in which our researchers are engaged will transform a wide range of industries and disciplines. That process in many cases is already well underway, and I look forward to what the next 10 years will bring.”

The federal research investment at Ohio State was a bright spot in the report. For the year, federal research spending grew 7.7% from $539 million in FY 2020 to $581 million in FY 2021. Ohio State’s institutional investment in research grew to $404 million in FY 2021, up from $152 million the previous fiscal year. The university said in addition to increased university investment in FY 2021, better alignment across colleges, units and affiliated entities allowed Ohio State to identify additional institutional investment that was previously not reported as part of the HERD survey.

Last year, Johnson announced the President’s Research Excellence program, providing seed funding every year in the next 10 years to faculty researchers, enabling curiosity-driven research and discoveries and addressing large, complex societal challenges.

“Ohio State’s dedication to groundbreaking, convergent research in fields such as artificial intelligence, mobility and cancer immuno-oncology continues to produce new knowledge and innovation that improves our community, state and our world,” said Grace Wang, executive vice president for the Enterprise for Research, Innovation and Knowledge.

Some of the highlights announced in 2021 include the establishment of two new NSF National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes at Ohio State. The AI Institute for Intelligent Cyberinfrastructure with Computational Learning in the Environment (ICICLE) and AI Institute for Future Edge Networks and Distributed Intelligence (AI-EDGE), both led by Ohio State teams in the College of Engineering, will each receive a total of $20 million over five years.

Additionally, Ohio State received a $15 million grant from the NSF to lead the creation of an interdisciplinary institute and establish a new field of study that has the potential to transform biomedical, agricultural and basic biological sciences. The new entity, which will be called the Imageomics Institute, is an inaugural institute for data-intensive discovery in science and engineering created by the NSF as part of its Harnessing the Data Revolution initiative.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes has allocated $16 million toward a seven-year, multicenter research project led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine that will compare inpatient rehabilitation treatments for traumatic brain injuries (TBI). More than $2.5 million has been awarded for the first year of the project, with the remainder expected to be awarded as the project progresses.

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