UCSB’s external research funding slipped a bit in fiscal 2009. Partly because of the country’s financial crisis, UCSB’s external funding total of $175 million was $19 million less than the previous year’s record of $194 million.

On the positive side, research support from federal sources broke records, with $150 million received from federal agencies in fiscal 2009 — an increase of nearly $12 million over the previous fiscal year.

“I congratulate our colleagues on the achievement of such an exceptional level of research funding even in the midst of these challenging economic times,” Chancellor Henry Yang said. “Our faculty and researchers from across the disciplines are advancing the frontiers of knowledge and making important contributions to our society. Our graduate students, and even undergraduate students, are also partners in this research. We are especially pleased that we have been able to compete so successfully for federal funds, which are helping to support, sustain and stimulate our economy while also helping to build UC Santa Barbara’s outstanding research enterprise.”

The $150 million came directly from federal agencies or through other research awards. Funding from the American Research and Reinvestment Act included $900,000 given to the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education for the CalTeach program funded by the National Science Foundation.

“The effect of ARRA on our total funding was still small in the 2008-09 academic year, providing only about $2 million of the $150 million we received in federal funds,” said Michael Witherell, vice chancellor for research. “We will see a much larger effect from ARRA funding in the totals we report a year from now. They will include the $15.7 million for the Energy Frontier Research Center, which arrived on campus in August 2009.”

The NSF provided more funding to UCSB than any other external source — $51.4 million, or 12 percent more than in fiscal 2008. New NSF awards included a large grant for the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, a UCLA-led consortium in which UCSB is a partner. Another NSF award went to the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships for ConvEne, Conversion of Energy through Molecular Platforms.

The second-largest source of research funds was for nonclassified, basic research supported by the Department of Defense, which provided $46.2 million, about 30 percent more than in fiscal 2008. The growth in DOD funding was predominantly associated with the growth of the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, though the campus received significant amounts for a wide range of other basic research projects as well, Witherell said. He underscored that no classified research is conducted at UCSB.