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Academic Research Needs a New Funding Model

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As federal support for academic research declines, universities are losing capacity to address significant global challenges through cutting-edge research.

In a recently published piece in The Conversation, the University of Minnesota’s Brian Herman, Ph.D., vice president for research, and Claudia Neuhauser, Ph.D., associate vice president for research, highlight how research universities must consider new models for academic R&D funding.

Limited federal funding leaves research universities locked in a fierce battle for a diminishing pool of resources.

In the past, long-term investments in academic research made by federal, state and local governments have played an integral role in keeping the U.S. at the forefront of innovation. Now, Herman and Neuhauser said, there’s too little research money available to support existing research talent and facilities that could be used to help address global challenge. They also highlight how universities are increasingly relying on their own institutional funding to fill the gaps left by inflation and eroded federal funding.

To fix the broken funding model, Herman and Neuhauser discuss how institutions can coordinate and collaborate to share resources, materials, data and infrastructure, leading to significant cost savings. They also highlight a means for providing incentive for industry to invest in university research that aids in the development of innovative solutions, as industry can then scale up these solutions to create economic value.

See the full article in The Conversation.

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a communications specialist with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

coss@umn.edu

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