Ohio State surpasses record $1.2 billion in research spending

The Ohio State University has reached a major milestone in research, surpassing $1.2 billion in research and development spending in 2021, according to new figures released by the university.

The $1.236 billion in research spending in fiscal year 2021, which ended in June, represents a 30.4% increase over the previous year’s funding of $968.26 million. Ohio State has been slowly moving toward the $1 billion mark for several years.

Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson said the dollar figure reflects Ohio State’s seat as “one of the best research companies in the world.”

“It’s a big deal because for every dollar spent on research in the community. It leads to spin-offs and patents. It leads to other health and well-being issues in the community,” said she declared.

Ohio State reported the new numbers as part of its submission to the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey. The HERD survey tracks and ranks research and development spending at US colleges and universities.

In fiscal year 2020, Ohio State ranked 24th on the list of over 650 universities and 15th among public universities.

Although the final rankings for fiscal year 2021 won’t be released until late this fall, Johnson said crossing the $1 billion threshold puts the state of Ohio among a group “of elite” of research universities.

In February 2021, Johnson announced in his first state of the university address his intention to double Ohio State’s research spending over the next decade. To do this, she says, funding for university research would need to increase by an average of 7% per year.

“Research is the starting point for innovation, leading to breakthrough discoveries that have the power to change our lives for the better. It forms the very foundation of Ohio State’s mission as a land-grant university, enabling us to achieve our ultimate goals of educating a new generation of leaders and giving back to the community,” Johnson said.

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Grace Wang, corporate executive vice president for research, innovation, and knowledge at Ohio State, announced the news at the Research, Innovation, and Strategic Partnerships Committee meeting. of the Board of Directors on Wednesday afternoon.

“This record milestone highlights the university’s growing capacity for transformational research and our commitment as a leading land-grant research university,” said Gary Heminger, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. . “It’s also a testament to the hard work and innovation that drives our faculty, students, and staff.”

The massive growth in research spending reported in the state of Ohio came from a number of sources.

Federal research funding increased by 7.7% to $581 million. Securing federal funds is a competitive process, Johnson said, so for Ohio State to increase its share is a good sign the university has top-notch researchers and is “on the cutting edge.” .

“You help set the country’s research agenda,” she said.

Another significant source of Ohio State’s research spending is its institutional investments, which grew from $152 million in fiscal year 2020 to $404 million in fiscal year 2021.

Part of the reason for the huge jump was the way Ohio State counted its NSF-submitted institutional dollars compared to other universities, Johnson said. The university has coordinated all of its research programs across all of its colleges and campuses to track research spending more evenly.

In the process, he discovered that the university was not reporting certain institutional funds to the HERD survey as it could, Johnson said. This included things like start-up packages given by the university to researchers, as well as research activities reported by faculty members.

“Our ability to secure external funding and dedicate our resources to research and development at an academic institution is a great indicator of excellence,” Wang said.

Other sources of research spending included $45 million in state and local funding, $125 million from for-profit organizations, and $45 million from non-profit groups.

Expedition reporter Michael Lee contributed to this article.

Sheridan Hendrix is ​​a higher education reporter at the Columbus Dispatch. You can reach her at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter at @sheridan120. Sign up for his Mobile Newsroom newsletter here.

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