Here’s what $1 billion in research spending does for UF and for Florida
Welcome to From Florida, a podcast that showcases the student success, teaching excellence and groundbreaking research taking place at the University of Florida.
The University of Florida has achieved $1 billion in research spending, an historic milestone that puts UF in a select group of about 15 public universities with expenditures of this magnitude. In this episode of From Florida, Vice President for Research David Norton explains what that means for UF, Gainesville and for the state. Produced by Nicci Brown, Brooke Adams, Emma Richards and James L. Sullivan. Original music by Daniel Townsend, a doctoral candidate in music composition in the College of the Arts.
Nicci Brown: The University of Florida has achieved $1 billion in research spending, a historic milestone that puts UF in a select group of about 15 public universities with expenditures of this magnitude. I’m your host, Nicci Brown and today on From Florida, we’re going to talk about this achievement in research spending and what it means for our university and our state. Our guest today is David Norton, vice president for research at UF. Welcome, Dr. Norton.
VP David Norton: It’s a pleasure to be here.
Nicci Brown: One billion dollars in research spending. Can you put that in context for it? What does it actually signify?
VP David Norton: What it represents really is the national competitiveness of the researchers here at the University of Florida. It was just 35 years ago where we crossed the $100 million mark for the first time.
Nicci Brown: Wow. So a lot of progress?
VP David Norton: A lot of progress. A lot of progress. Today, we are just one of a handful of universities that have crossed the $1 billion mark. What that really represents is agencies and companies that want to fund the research that we do here. As a sort of measuring point, that represents, at present, nearly 700 projects that are active, are funded by the National Institute of Health to do research and medical research for the world. Around 500 projects active are National Science Foundation awards.
Those are all competitively secured through a proposal process. It really represents the competitiveness of our researchers but, also, it means that we have the staff and infrastructure — and I’ll go back to the staff — who are just remarkably professional, who can support all of that activity in such a way that those agencies have confidence to fund the researchers here. So, it really is a remarkable achievement for the entire university, for the community.
Nicci Brown: And we talk about funds, but in a way, really what they’re doing is investing in us. They see that we are a good investment for what we are doing and for them and their projects. Does that sound correct?