Oregon State University announced Tuesday that it recorded its second-best year ever in competitive grants and contracts for research that benefits every corner of the state and provides students with opportunities for hands-on experience.
As Oregon’s largest comprehensive public research university, OSU earned a total of $382 million in the fiscal year ending June 30. A National Science Foundation grant of $88 million for the construction of a second coastal research vessel buoyed the university’s total, which dropped from 2017’s record of $441 million – a year that the university received a $121.9 million NSF grant to build the first of the latest generation of ocean-going research vessels.
Oregon State Provost and Executive Vice President Ed Feser said that OSU researchers focus on major challenges facing the state, the nation and the world.
“Over the years, OSU scientists have produced disease-resistant crops, such as varieties of soft white wheat and hazelnuts, found new ways to fight infectious diseases and treat cancer, and contributed to improving the economy, the environment and communities in sustainable ways,” he said. “Research conducted at Oregon State advances science, solves problems, creates jobs and trains our future workforce.
“Oregon State’s success in earning federal, state and private sector support for research is due to the amazing efforts of our faculty and their desire to achieve and engage in research excellence. Writing successful research proposals takes teamwork and commitment over and above the day-to-day responsibilities of teaching, running a lab and mentoring student researchers. It also requires active support from our research and business center staff.”
Last year, OSU provided more than $1 million to support more than 800 undergraduate student research and creative projects overseen by faculty mentors. In addition, graduate students depend on grants to faculty for projects that enable them to complete their degrees.
Among examples of OSU research supported by grant funds last year are:
$2.2 million from the National Institutes of Health for research on the role of brain cell deterioration in the development of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
$2 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to OSU-Cascades in Bend for an innovative solar-powered desalination process to generate clean water for countries around the world. The project aims to boost access to drinking water where supplies are limited.
$1.5 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to test a new approach to measure firefighters’ chemical exposure. The researchers’ goal is to improve safety for people on the front lines of firefighting efforts.