UA Research Sets Another Record: External Sponsored Awards Surge

  • October 21st, 2019

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — For the second consecutive year, The University of Alabama attracted record external funding for research and other sponsored activities, further cementing its role as a comprehensive research university that promotes economic and societal development across the state of Alabama, the nation and globe.

For the 2019 fiscal year, UA’s total sponsored awards reached nearly $132.5 million, an increase of more than 33% from the previous year. Total sponsored awards include all competitive external funding for research, service, instruction, fellowships and construction.

“Our research and economic development initiative is designed to make a difference in the lives of our students, our citizens, our state, and our country,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “Whether it’s getting innovative solutions into the marketplace quickly to fill a societal need, mentoring our student scholars in research labs or aiding a small business in writing its business plan, we’re searching for, and finding, impactful ways of serving others.”

“We’re leveraging our emerging and established research and service strengths to benefit society,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development. “This is essential to our mission and a core pillar of UA’s strategic plan.”

External grants and contracts supporting UA research also reached record levels with a nearly 21% increase from the previous year, Mumper said.

In 2018, UA achieved its first listing from the Carnegie Classification as one of the top doctoral research universities in the United States. Total sponsored awards to UA have grown by 85% over the past five years.

UA’s faculty research and economic development projects exist in a variety of fields, with primary research efforts supported through campus institutes focused on collaboration in the areas of transportation, water, cyber and life research.

“Our faculty and staff have enthusiastically embraced our plan of moving even closer to the top of premier comprehensive research institutions in the United States over the next five years,” Mumper said. “With their talent and hard work, we’ll see an increasing number of ways in which the University impacts research and economic development in our state, nation and world.

“I’d like to thank our Congressional delegation for their dedication in helping us secure some of these resources,” Mumper said. “Their hard work will be a sound investment for the region.”

The Office of Research and Economic Development announced the launch of its five-year strategic plan in June. It centers on growing and developing faculty as well as increasing the size and impact of research and scholarly activity to benefit society.


Deidre Stalnaker, UA director of communications, 205-348-8718,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.