The University of Florida (UF) has reached a record on research spending, hitting $942.2 million during 2020, the National Science Foundation has revealed.
According to a university’s press release, UF’s response to NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD) showed there was an increase of $13.6 million in expenses over 2019. This increase was marked despite a two-month pause in most research as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Erudera.com reports.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic during the final quarter of Fiscal Year 2020, UF researchers were able to post new records in research expenditures, even as we continue to address the risks presented by COVID-19 effectively,” UF’s vice president for research, David Norton said.
The UF President Kent Fuchs saluted the faculty members on the new record, adding that the new records in expenses affirm, among others, the resilience of the faculty members.
“This testifies to faculty members’ excellence and resilience — and the high regard for their work among federal agencies and other supporters of university research,” President Fuchs stressed.
The US Department of Health and Human Services is the UF’s largest source of finance, followed by the US Department of Agriculture. The latter has spent $688.1 million, about the same as in 2019.
Engineering and computer sciences spent $132.1 million, while geology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, and mathematics accounted for $45 million. The social sciences, including psychology, accounted for the balance of the funding.
The main projects underway at the University of Florida are:
- The 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, which aims to make Alzheimer’s treatable, preventable, and one day curable, requiring advanced equipment.
- Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering’s project in which researchers will train 100 teachers in Florida to use sensors and probes to help students understand scientific concepts in science, technology, engineering, and math, which is also supported by the US. The Department of Education.
- The UF/IFAS Tropical Research on Laurel wilt disease threatens to exterminate Florida’s $100 million avocado industry in a week. Supported by the Department of Agriculture, the center has been researching to find pest management and elimination methods for the illness, focusing on early identification and treatment.
Last week, the University of Florida announced five Fulbright Scholars, a new record for the nation.
“We are delighted to see that the colleges and universities we are honoring as 2020-2021 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions reflect the geographic and institutional diversity of higher education in the United States,” the Director of the Office of Academic Exchange Programs Mary Kirk said.
In February, a total of $25.4 million were raised virtually in a single day from the University of Florida’s alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends during the university’s third annual “Stand Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day.”