Campus: CSU Fresno -- December 17, 2003
Contract Awards Set Another Record at $48 Million
Fresno State recorded another banner year for grants and contracts
in 2002-03. Projects funded by non-state entities increased to more
than $48 million, nearly 25 percent higher than the previous year's
high of $38 million.
The new total marks the sixth consecutive year of that faculty and staff
have secured record totals in external funding for sponsored projects.
Sponsored project funding has quadrupled since 1997.
“Our grant funding capacity is expanding as faculty members continue
to become more experienced at capturing the attention of funding sources,”
said Dr. Thomas McClanahan, associate vice president for University
Research, Grants and Contracts. “In addition, faculty are backed
by proactive administrators who encourage them to seek and create new
programs and opportunities within their schools and colleges, despite
state budget realities.”
The University Grants and Research Office works closely with faculty
to prepare and submit proposals. Last year more than 500 proposals were
submitted to outside agencies. President Welty reaffirmed recently that
he wants this trend to continue, and has directed a new task force to
guide the reorganization of grants and contracts so that pre-award activities
and post-award administration both fall under a single administrative
structure on campus. The reorganization is expected to take most of
Fresno State receives project and research funding from numerous sources,
including federal, state and municipal agencies and private foundations.
Key federal sources include the National Science Foundation, the National
Institutes of Health, the Department of Education and the Department
Important state funding sources include the California Energy Commission,
Department of Education, the Department of Water Resources and the Department
of Food and Agriculture. Examples of private funding sources include
the Public Utilities Commission, The California Endowment, the Garabedian
Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the American Vineyard Foundation,
the Coleman Foundation and the California Wellness Foundation.
The grants vary enormously in size and focus. Biology Professor Shirley
Kovacs, for example, is in her fourth year of administering the SCORE
program, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Through multiple
contracts over several years, a total of more than $2.4 million in NIH
funding supports meritorious, investigator-initiated research projects
in biomedical or behavioral sciences. Individual faculty funded through
this program include Dr. Alejandro Calderon-Urrea, Dr. Jim Prince, Dr.
Jorge Benetiz, Dr. Maurice Cohen, and Dr. Christine Edmondson.
The College of Health and Human Services recently received a multi-year
grant of more than $2 million from The California Endowment to establish
and operate the Central Valley Health Policy Institute. The grant will
help facilitate an interactive regional process to identify, monitor,
and analyze emerging health policy issues that influence the health
status of people living in Central California. The goal is to develop
the infrastructure and regional capacity for addressing health policy
issues that affect valley residents by implementing leadership development
activities, facilitating community engagement in research, and conducting
educational and training programs.
Dr. Dennis Nef, interim dean of Undergraduate Studies and the former
associate dean of the College of Agricultural Science and Technology,
continues to receive funding to support a variety of Ag Literacy activities.
The programs are geared to encourage participants to think out of the
box about careers in agriculture, exposing them to ag-related professions
beyond field labor as well as to the ag programs offered at the university.
This year’s awards from the CF3 group (Kellogg Foundation) includes
more than $50,000 for community-based activities emphasizing the importance
of agriculture in the rural community of Firebaugh and an outreach effort
to the farm worker families of a ranch owner in rural Orange Cove. In
addition, a 3-year grant from USDA ($299,482), provides funding to encourage
regional high school and community college students into enter ag programs
McClanahan is enthusiastic about the extraordinary growth in grant and
contract funding but also realistic about the near-term prospects for
"I am optimistic, but the next few years are likely to present
some unique and difficult challenges, especially for California universities
like Fresno State. The state budget crisis may already have begun to
erode potential sources of research funds, and the growing federal budget
deficit will undoubtedly take a toll as well. In addition, the transition
to managing grants and contracts through the state will certainly require
the University Research, Grants and Contracts Office and some faculty
to focus on mastering a new process," he said.
"For a year or two, things will be very difficult, but given the
necessary internal resources, in the long run our grants and contracts
program has the potential to grow in both size and sophistication,"
Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruster (559) 278-2795
or (559) 593-1815