Virginia Tech’s research expenditures have increased by 9 percent, approaching $600 million for fiscal year 2022, according to preliminary data. External expenditures from sponsored awards reflected a record increase of more than 14 percent, Virginia Tech Senior Vice President of Research and Innovation Dan Sui said during his update to the Board of Visitors on Monday.  

“The upward trajectory of growth is due to the dedication of our faculty who are going after larger sponsored research awards and increased university research development support,” said Sui, who is also the university’s chief innovation and research officer.

In January, total expenditures will be finalized and reported in the National Science Foundation’s annual Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey, which is the primary source of information on research and development expenditures for U.S. colleges and universities.

University initiatives such as the Research Frontiers enable innovative progress by forging new and enhancing existing partnerships with collaborators and sponsors that include other universities, industry, foundations, and the federal government, Sui said.

Over the last year, Virginia Tech’s sponsored research portfolio had the highest percentages of funding from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Health Frontier research area saw the most growth, with sponsored research from the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others, increasing by 26 percent over the prior year. The growth can be attributed to a universitywide investment to expand research in the health sciences and technology field by growing the biomedical research program, expanding the Roanoke campus, recruiting world-class researchers and students, and expanding its impact in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area with its partnership with the Children’s National Hospital.

In addition, the Security Frontier showed significant growth. For example, the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, an affiliated corporation of the university, had record expenditures, growing by more than 40 percent from the prior year. The Virginia Tech National Security Institute also had substantial growth, increasing expenditures by 50 percent since the institute was established last fall.

“Virginia Tech continues to invest in faculty, infrastructure, and improving its institutional culture toward the goal of becoming a top global 100 research university,” Sui said in closing.

Contributing to the university research ecosystem, nearly 4,000 Virginia Tech faculty conduct research, collaborating across disciplines and with other institutions and across international borders. Additionally, Virginia Tech’s research institutes continue to fuel the research engine by enhancing the university's ability to address large-scale research opportunities by crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries. The seven institutes, university centers, and affiliated corporations and initiatives provide faculty, students, and partners access to world-class expertise across many disciplines and to the scientific and technical capability of specially equipped, advanced laboratories.

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