UC Davis Receives $760 Million in Sponsored Research Funding

PREDICT in Bolivia
PREDICT conducts global surveillance to detect and prevent the spillover of pathogens that can move between wildlife and people. Here, technician Rosario Barradas and veterinarian Fabiola Suárez collect bat samples at the Tuichi River inside Madidi National Park in Bolivia. The program currently operates in more than 30 countries around the world. (Credit: Erika Alandia, Wildlife Conservation Society, UC Davis One Health Institute)

Quick Summary

  • Federal awards totalled $391 million, followed by state of California
  • Contracts for public health, human and veterinary diagnostics major areas
  • Almost $28 million provides rapid detection and response to emerging viruses
  • Nearly $12 million continues agricultural education in Afghanistan

The University of California, Davis, received $760 million in external research funding for fiscal year 2015-16, down slightly from last year’s all-time high of $786 million. UC Davis was fourth overall among University of California campuses, which received a combined total of just above $6 billion from all external sponsors during fiscal year 2015-16.

“This marks the fifth year in a row that our sponsored research has topped $700 million,” Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter said. “It's a reflection of the exciting work our faculty is doing to help solve some of the toughest challenges faced by California and the world.”

Federal funding tops sources for UC Davis

Awards from the federal government topped the list for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, totaling $391 million. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services accounted for the largest source of federal funding with $213 million in awards, up from $206 million last year. The next highest federal award was from the Department of State at $53 million, followed by the National Science Foundation with $43 million in awards.

California state awards increased to $170 million, up from $110 million the previous year. Business grants also increased, reaching $63 million, up $4 million from last year.

“This level of funding reaffirms our standing as global leaders and problem-solvers in the realms of public health, environmental health, food security and sustainable agriculture,” Hexter said.

Top awards

Public health concerns topped the list of awards from state and federal agencies, with an emphasis on monitoring pathogens and preventing the spread of diseases in humans, livestock and wildlife. The top award of $48.9 million for the Communicable Disease Emergency Response program was the largest single award in the University of California system last year.

$48.9 million for “Communicable Disease Emergency Response” from the California Department of Public Health

The UC Davis Center for Occupational and Environmental Health works collaboratively with the Division of Communicable Disease Control of the California Department of Public Health to implement analytical work in support of public health surveillance related systems. These include the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange application and the California Laboratory Information Management System application. The data collected through these applications will support the development of public health action plans for California’s population. Principal Investigator: Marc B. Schenker.

$28.8 million for “Emerging Pandemic Threats Program 2 PREDICT-2” from the United States Agency for International Development

The multi-institutional PREDICT initiative provides rapid detection and response to emerging viruses such as Ebola and SARS that move among people, wildlife and livestock. The program currently operates in more than 30 countries around the world. The project is part of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats program and is led by the UC Davis One Health Institute in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The implementing partners are the United States Agency for International Development, Wildlife Conservation Society, EcoHealth Alliance, Metabiota and the Smithsonian Institution. Principal Investigator: Jonna Mazet.

$16 million for “Operate the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System” from the California Department of Food and Agriculture

The California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS, formerly CVDLS) is a system comprised of laboratories in Davis, Turlock, Tulare and San Bernardino that provide state-of-the-art veterinary diagnostic services to protect the health of livestock and poultry throughout California and beyond. The program provides surveillance for both routine and catastrophic animal disease agents that can devastate California’s livestock and poultry, or endanger public health or the food supply. Principal Investigator: Richard E. Breitmeyer (retired); new director, Pam Hullinger (effective Nov. 15).

$12.2 million for “Emergency Preparedness Contract” from the California Department of Public Health

In addition to the $48.9 million award above, the UC Davis Center for Occupational and Environmental Health assists the Emergency Preparedness Office of the California Department of Public Health to plan and implement public health and medical emergency preparedness programs, and assists in creating reports and analyzing data for submission to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other governmental bodies. COEH works closely with a dedicated group of California Department of Public Health managers to implement strategies to improve public health outcomes for California’s population. Principal Investigator: Marc B. Schenker.

$11.9 million for “Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Project II” from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agency for International Development

The role of AAEP II, now in its fifth year, is to help extension educators from the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock reach out to Afghan farmers, who are among the poorest in the world, with evidence-based information to improve Afghanistan agriculture. AAEP II has rehabilitated research and extensions centers in four provinces and has reached into 24 of 34 total provinces in Afghanistan. UC Davis leads the program with four other land-grant university partners. Principal Investigator: James (Jim) E. Hill.

Other top awards include $11.7 million for “California National Primate Research Center,”  $11 million for “University of California CalFresh Nutrition Education Program,” $9.9 million for “Development of Innovative Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology and Deployment Support for Caltrans Application,” and $9 million for “Northern California Training Academy.”

Where funds are awarded over several years, but distributed in yearly increments, the money is counted in the year received.

Awards by college and school

The UC Davis School of Medicine received the largest share of awards at $272 million, followed by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at $155 million, the School of Veterinary Medicine at $97 million, the College of Engineering at $64 million, the College of Biological Science at $51 million and the College of Letters and Science at $49 million. The rankings represent the awards by the principal investigator’s home department.

A transition with strong momentum

“Once again UC Davis has established itself as one of the leading public research universities in the nation and one that is highly ranked among its UC peers,” said Cameron Carter, who took over the role of interim vice chancellor for the Office of Research on Oct. 1.

Carter is a professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the director of two UC Davis research centers. The previous vice chancellor, Harris Lewin, served in the role for over five years, during which UC Davis hit an all-time high for external research funding, receiving $786 million in 2015, up nearly $100 million from prior to his arrival. Lewin has returned to a faculty position in the UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology.

Media Resources

AJ Cheline, Office of Research, 530-752-1101, acheline@ucdavis.edu

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Human & Animal Health