Annual research expenditures hit $780 million, have broad impact

September 30, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's research expenditures totaled an all-time high of $780 million for the 2009-10 fiscal year, an increase of about 2 percent over the previous year and a 77 percent increase over the past decade, according to Henry C. Foley, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School.

Totals include funds from a wide variety of federal, state and private sources, and reflect research initiatives at all 24 Penn State campuses.

"We anticipated a relatively small increase over 2008-09 because the economic downturn has affected many of our funding agencies in both the public and private sectors," said Foley. "What is far more important is the remarkable progress we have made over the 10-year term, and the many ways in which Penn State researchers have expanded the frontiers of knowledge and contributed to the betterment of society."

He noted that in the past year alone, University research has earned international recognition in such areas as nutrition, nanomaterials, cancer treatment, human fertility and anthropology.

Foley also pointed to other benefits of Penn State's research activities.

"The $780 million in expenditures has tremendous direct and indirect economic impacts that continue to ripple through Pennsylvania's economy," he noted.

A 2008 study commissioned by the University found that Penn State research generated nearly $2 billion in such economic impacts as application of new technologies, job creation and retention, and taxes and similar payments to state government. The University's research expenditures in 2007-08 totaled $717 million.

Included in the $780 million total is more than $470 million in federal funds that Penn State brought to Pennsylvania.

Research also strengthens the quality and breadth of Penn State's teaching mission.

"Faculty research and graduate education traditionally go hand in hand," Foley said, "but we also are giving undergraduates more opportunities to work side by side with world-class faculty in experiencing the hands-on aspects of research and creative work in labs, studios and in the field. It's an experience few other universities can match."

The $780 million total for 2009-10 is based on preliminary figures from the four major research funding categories: federal government, private industry, state appropriations and internal University sources. More detailed information about sources of funds and research expenditures by major academic units will be available online later this year from the office the Vice President for Research at Visit for more research news and features.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 10, 2013