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Record high

External research funding at Memorial hits $130-million mark

By Jeff Green

For the first time, Memorial’s total research funding has topped more than $130 million.

In fiscal year 2019-20, the university and its researchers were awarded a total of $134,848,427 in research funding.

That is a 22 per cent increase over fiscal year 2018-19 when the total funding awarded was $110,524,666, which was also an all-time high, and an increase from $94,971,400 reported in fiscal year 2017-18.

“This substantial growth speaks to the capabilities of our talented research community.” — Dr. Neil Bose

The surge, due largely to the accounting of Memorial’s allocation of industry funding, marks the highest level of external research revenue in the university’s history.

Empowering investments

“This substantial growth speaks to the capabilities of our talented research community who secured this funding through increasingly competitive processes and ongoing collaborations with Memorial’s many stakeholders, including industry,” said Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research).

“Over the past several years, Memorial has focused on intensifying its research activities and clearly those efforts are paying off. Critical investments in research allows Memorial to attract and retain the best and brightest minds to Newfoundland and Labrador. The innovative discoveries and breakthroughs of our researchers are helping address challenges facing our province, country and world.”

Vital role

Dr. Bose acknowledged the vital role the university’s administrative staff play in securing research funding.

“Memorial values the experience, skills and knowledge of those who support and guide our researchers,” he noted.

Dr. Neil Bose
Dr. Neil Bose
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

“Teams from units such as Research Grant and Contract Services, and Strategic Institutional Research Initiatives, as well as grant facilitators and research officers, help maximize opportunities for our researchers to ensure Memorial’s research success continues to grow. These teams are vital to our success and are some of Memorial’s unsung heroes.”

Sources of research funding include the federal government, including granting councils; the private sector; non-profit; the provincial government; and other sources which include individuals and the U.S. government.

As one of the top 20 research universities in Canada, Dr. Bose says Memorial is recognized nationally and internationally for its research strengths in areas broadly ranging from chronic disease to offshore technology to social justice. He says a growth in funding allows researchers to build even greater capacity.

National funding growth

In addition to the rise in total research funding, Memorial continues to attract significant funding from Canada’s tri-agencies.

In fiscal year 2019-20, researchers secured a total of $19,014,748 in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

“The ongoing support of our federal government contributes greatly to building a culture of research excellence here at Memorial.” — Dr. Neil Bose

That was a slight decrease when compared to fiscal year 2018-19, when the total funding awarded was $20,367,216.

Memorial’s total tri-agency funding, however, has increased steadily over the years, rising from a little more than $18 million in 2015-16 to the current $19 million. Raising tri-agency funding is a key strategy for Memorial.

“The ongoing support of our federal government contributes greatly to building a culture of research excellence here at Memorial,” Dr. Bose added.

Memorial’s research funding growth data will be compiled and included in the Centre for Institutional Analysis and Planning’s 2020 Fact Book.

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