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UIC posts new record research funding totals

UIC's west campus and School of Public Health building, with the Chicago skyline in the background.

The University of Illinois Chicago received nearly $460 million in research funding during the 2022 fiscal year. This is the fourth consecutive year of record-breaking research awards for Chicago’s only public research university.  The total amount represents a 3% increase over fiscal year 2021 and a 37% increase over the last four years, with this year’s funding supporting more than 3,200 research projects that fuel discoveries to improve communities.

“At UIC, we are committed to serving our state and the world by advancing knowledge through education and scientific discovery, and the steadfast growth of our research program is a testament to the outstanding faculty, staff and students who have the vision to imagine a better future and the skills and resilience to bring those ideas to life,” UIC Interim Chancellor Javier Reyes said.

“Our investigators have surpassed last year’s remarkable achievements and continue to generate novel ideas and information, and inspire the next generation,” UIC Vice Chancellor for Research Joanna Groden said.

Each year, the School of Public Health has approximately $30 million in sponsored program expenditures for grants and contracts that support public health research and service. One of SPH’s newest projects earned $1.5 million in grant funding to increase diversity in the public health workforce through the HRSA Public Health Scholarship Program. In addition, researchers have received major federal grants from NIH and CDC to support research on health effects of environmental exposures, breast cancer prevention for Latinas, and agricultural worker health and wellbeing. Sponsored grants and contracts also support public health service activities such as, COVID-19 response, opioid response and data driven health equity.

Federal awards account for 72% of research funding at UIC in fiscal year 2022, with the National Institutes of Health providing the largest amount — nearly $192 million. NIH funding supported research to study chronic eye disease among Latinos, test interventions to improve metabolic outcomes among Black pregnant women, understand the connection between human herpesvirus and periodontal inflammation, and evaluate if a home care aid program improves the health of seniors.

Other top sponsors include the National Science Foundation ($28 million), U.S. Department of Defense ($18 million), U.S. Department of Energy ($15 million) and State of Illinois ($50 million). Private sponsors have contributed $72 million to support UIC research. Highlights include:

  • A $17.2 million award from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to launch a Health Collaborative in Chicago’s Gage Park and West Elsdon communities, co-led by SPH alumni.
  • A $5.8 million award from the DOD to develop a new treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19 patients.
  • A $4 million award from the NSF to study high-pressure science and technology.
  • A $1.5 million award from the NSF to study synergistic genetic and microenvironmental engineering platforms for directed liver organoid differentiation.
  • A $1 million award from the NSF to develop organizational capacity to improve K-8 mathematics teaching and learning.
  • A $5 million award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to foster inter-institutional collaboration and support emerging Latino scholars.

Projects addressing the COVID-19 pandemic accounted for more than $38 million in funding this fiscal year, including awards co-led by SPH researchers to understand long COVID-19 and a multi-center collaborative in Chicago to help communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

UIC College of Medicine and School of Public Health faculty members Dr. Heather Prendergast (EMHA ’19, MS ’14, MPH ’07), Dr. Jerry Krishnan, Dr. Martha Daviglus, Dr. Richard Novak and Dr. Benjamin Van Voorhees are among the top-funded principal investigators at UIC.

In addition to the $460 million in research funding, UIC reported nearly $30 million in revenue from 308 active licenses of its intellectual property in the 2022 fiscal year.

Learn more about research at SPH