UC Merced Update

Research Operations Continue to Grow


ResearchUC Merced’s research expenditures increased for the fifth consecutive year in 2009-10 despite a challenging economic landscape.

According to numbers released earlier this month by the campus’ Business and Financial Services, research expenditures — the amount of money spent on UC Merced research, including graduate student salaries and benefits along with supplies and equipment for research projects — surpassed $14.1 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year, the highest total in the campus’ history and nearly a 10 percent increase over the $12.9 million in expenditures in 2008-09.

Expenditures are the most relevant measurement of a research university’s production, said Vice Chancellor for Research Sam Traina, as they represent money being spent on current projects and being fed back into the economy.

The amount of research awards received also held steady in 2009-10, ensuring that expenditures will remain strong in the coming years. UC Merced faculty pulled in nearly $22 million in awards, a decrease of less than 4 percent from 2008-09’s $22.8 million. And the 2010-11 fiscal year got off to a rousing start, with more than $4.5 million in research awards received by UC Merced researchers in July alone and another $2.3 million in August.

The money spent on research at UC Merced benefits society on many levels. It feeds money into the local economy by way of graduate student researcher salaries; it funds outreach programs designed to improve health and education in the San Joaquin Valley; and it leads to new innovations that address many of our greatest societal challenges on the local, state and global level.