UCI Grants for Research Rise 29%

Drawing on sharp increases from both private and public sources, UC Irvine received a record $136.9 million in research grants during the last fiscal year, which ended June 30.

While federal programs such as the National Science Foundation account for nearly two-thirds of the grant money, UCI officials said a jump in corporate grants helped push the total about 29% higher than the previous fiscal year.

That spike in outside funding follows a drop in the previous fiscal year, to $106 million from $126 million in 1994-95, according to statistics provided by the university.

Vice Chancellor for Research Frederic Wan said the fluctuations arose from several factors, including a drop two years ago in available federal funds, and the timing of some large grants.

For instance, he said, UCI received a $5-million grant in June of this year but did not formally accept it until July, which pushed the tabulation into the current fiscal year.

In a prepared statement, outgoing Chancellor Laurel L. Wilkening said the increase demonstrates "our growing ability to form mutually advantageous partnerships with the business community," which she has made a key component of her tenure.

One area with unprecedented growth--a 75% increase to $30.6 million--was grants from private businesses, mostly to finance clinical trials of pharmaceuticals.

Still, federal money accounts for the bulk of UCI research grants, with $47 million (up 9.6%) from the Department of Health and Human Services, and $11.8 million (up 6.5%) from the National Science Foundation.

Medicine and sciences drew most of the grants:

* the College of Medicine received $81.2 million;

* biological sciences, $22.4 million;

* physical sciences, $18.2 million;

* engineering, $11.6 million.

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Grants Growing

Research grants at UC Irvine reached a record level last fiscal year, which ended June 30. The five-year trend, in millions:

1996-97: $137

Most of the record $137 million will be going to work in the field of medicine. How the grants break down:

Medicine: 59%

Biological sciences: 16%

Physical sciences: 13%

Engineering: 9%

Other: 3%

Source: UC Irvine

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