a female scientist looks into a microscope

Support for Sponsored Projects Doubles in Four Years

Marco Bonizzoni in his lab.
Fiscal year 2022 was the ninth straight year of record growth in support from sponsored awards.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Outside support of research, other sponsored activity and instructional efforts that spark innovation and discovery at The University of Alabama more than doubled over the past four years thanks to another record-breaking year.

For the ninth straight fiscal year, sponsored awards in 2022 were at an all-time high, increasing 23.6% to $211.4 million from 840 sponsored awards to UA. Sponsored awards include all competitive external funding for research, instruction, other sponsored activity, fellowships and construction.

The overall doubling of support for sponsored projects clears a five-year goal set by the UA Office for Research and Economic Development ahead of schedule, according to its strategic plan.

“The incredible momentum at The University of Alabama for research, economic development and outreach activities enhances our mission as the flagship institution in the state,” said UA president Stuart R. Bell. “Sponsored projects improve instruction and elevate the learning experience of our students while serving society through the discovery of novel solutions to our most challenging problems, which in turn creates a more knowledgeable and skilled workforce.”

Fiscal year 2022, which ended in September, was also the fifth consecutive year for record sponsored awards directly supporting research at the University. External grants and contracts contributing to cutting-edge research and influential scholarship topped $125.8 million, an increase of 23.9% from fiscal year 2021.

As part of the record year, sponsored awards from the federal government also reached unprecedented levels. In the 2022 fiscal year, a record 522 of the 840 total awards to UA were from the federal government and brought $159.5 million to campus, a 52.1% increase from 2021.

The record in sponsored awards coincides with an historic number of UA faculty engaged in externally funded research along with major increases in research and development partnerships with industry.

“Surpassing our goal of doubling the University’s research enterprise in four years is a remarkable testament to the dedication of our faculty, staff and students,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development. “Achieving this milestone would also not have been possible without the support of The University of Alabama System and Board of Trustees, as well as our congressional and state legislative delegations.”

ORED’s strategic plan builds on the University’s designation by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education as a Very High Research Activity doctoral university, the nation’s highest level of research activity.

UA’s research institutes and centers that focus on signature research themes of transportation, water, life research, cyber and multi-scale analytical sciences also contributed substantially to UA’s record year. The institute infrastructure contributed to the submission of nearly 1,200 grant and contract applications from UA in fiscal year 2022, totaling more than $668 million, an almost 9% increase from fiscal year 2021.


Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, 205-348-4328, adam.jones@ua.edu