UCF garners nearly $89 million in research funding

July 21, 2003

ORLANDO, July 21, 2003 -- The University of Central Florida garnered nearly $89 million in research funding in fiscal year 2003, more than doubling the amount of its research awards in four years.

The 2003 total of $88.8 million is an 18 percent increase over the previous fiscal year when UCF received $75.4 million. It's the fourth year in a row that the university has seen a double-digit percentage increase.

"This remarkable growth in funding for research at the University of Central Florida feeds our mission to become the nation's leading metropolitan research university and helps to enhance the intellectual and economic development of our region and state," UCF President John Hitt said.

UCF offers education and high-tech research in optics, lasers, communications, simulation, alternative energy, materials and distributed learning and has developed, in partnership with industry, world-class centers and institutes that focus on these strengths and more. A highlight of 2003 was the establishment of the Florida Photonics Center of Excellence at UCF's School of Optics/CREOL (Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers). The designation will result in $10 million in state funding and has already led to more than $5 million in federal matching funds.

By concentrating on a first-rate education and selected areas of research strength, UCF is solidifying its position as one of the up-and-coming metropolitan research universities in the country, said M.J. Soileau, vice president for research. "Continuing a four-year string of compounded double-digit growth in funding seems to indicate we are moving in the right direction," he said.

UCF's research awards have increased dramatically -- by 143 percent -- over the past five years:The top three highest funded units in fiscal year 2003 were the College of Education at $16.4 million, the School of Optics/CREOL at $16.2 million, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science at $15.2 million. The fiscal year ended June 30.

Of the $88.8 million in total research funding, $47 million came from federal sources, $23 million from state funds and nearly $19 million from private money.

In a 2002 study, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked the impact of UCF's research second among five Florida universities, behind only the University of Florida. The study, which called UCF a leader in "current impact" among research institutions in the Southeast, ranked the university at No. 38 in the nation, up 10 spots from the previous ranking.
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University of Central Florida

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