UMD Sees Boost in Research Funding

By Chris Riotta

Despite inconsistencies in state and federal grants and dwindling funds, research at the University of Maryland is seeing a $31 million boost in funding.

The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) will receive roughly a third of the $502 million distribution total for the year, which was garnered through a variety of sources, including federal government agencies, private enterprises, and third-party foundations.  The Governor and state legislature’s efforts to continue large investments in higher education were also seen as a contributing factor.

“We’ve actually seen less cuts than would have been dictated by pure economics,” said Dr. Pat O’Shea, the University’s Vice President for Research and Chief Research Officer.  “It doesn’t directly … fund research; indirectly, it supports infrastructure that supports research.”

The university's research funding is almost entirely a self-sustaining entity, with the large majority of its money coming from outside networking.  The school allocates only a small contribution to the research funding.

One way experts believe the university was able to rake in its research funding for the year was by branching out its work into the community.  Many research projects being created by the university have been reaching out to the public.

For example, the university’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism has been involving its students and faculty members in extensive terrorism research that is used by the State Department.

“We want to get out of the traditional academic situation where oftentimes academics just speak to other academics about their work,” O’Shea said. “We want to engage the public.”

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