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Emory University receives record funding for research within the last year

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Emory University receives record funding for research within the last year

Emory Hospital bridge, April 19, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — Emory University has received $894.7 million in fiscal year 2021 to support its research in a record amount. Investigators won grants for developing and evaluating COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests; addressing climate change; exploring new frontiers of the mind; and advancing ideas and solutions to end health disparities and promote racial and social justice, according to a press release.

Research support has increased by more than 55% over the last five years, and 2020 marked the first time funding was above $800 million. This year’s funding is a 7.6% increase over last year’s high of $831.2 million, making 2021 the second straight year in which Emory has topped its best.

“To achieve this milestone for research funding, especially during a year defined by so many unprecedented challenges, is a testament to the commitment and dedication of Emory’s faculty and researchers,” Emory President Gregory L. Fenves said in a press release. “They were called upon like never before, and they rose to the occasion, delivering brilliant, forward-thinking research and setting a new standard for what this academic community can accomplish.”

Most of the university’s research funding came from federal agencies, which contributed $598 million. The National Institutes of Health led the funding with $526 million to tap into Emory’s expertise in infectious diseases, bacterial resistance, cancer, and the neurosciences.

The other top sources of federal funding were the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. Emory also won its highest ever awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Humanities this year, the press release states.

Contracts and awards from industry sponsors amounted to $78 million, while funding from the state totaled $14 million. Contributions from private and non-profit organizations increased to $131 million.

A major driver of the research growth came from increased funding to public health, medicine and nursing. Awards to organizations within Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center made up the bulk of the research funding total, with an amount of $847 million.

The School of Medicine had the largest dollar increase in funding, up $42 million from the previous year, for a total of $607 million. Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health received $127 million, Yerkes National Primate Research Center gained $88 million, Emory College collected $42 million, and the Nell Hodgson School of Nursing obtained $20 million.

“I am both humbled and impressed with the high-impact research conducted this past year by our faculty and research teams,” said Jonathan S. Lewin, Emory executive vice president for health affairs and executive director of WHSC. “This year’s spectacular growth accentuates Emory’s reputation as a research powerhouse and, despite the pandemic, underscores our commitment to the health sciences by improving lives and providing hope to everyone we serve through discovery and innovation.”

Emory’s faculty and staff had just under 3,700 proposals that were awarded funding, which is a new record. Collaborative research continued to attract sizeable attention from funders, according to the press release.

“These numbers mean important financial support for research across schools and centers,” said Deborah W. Bruner, senior vice president for research at Emory. “More than that, the numbers remind us of the power of constructive collisions—conversations springing up across disciplines that spark new ways of thinking, seeing, and impacting our world.”

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