Home Research funding Western University researchers secured record $268 million in funding last year

Western University researchers secured record $268 million in funding last year


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Western University broke its own research funding records in 2021, surpassing the previous year’s total by 13%, officials said.

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A total of $267.6 million has been awarded to campus disciplines to study everything from the impact of the pandemic on education and the sustainability of climate risks to gender-based violence and infectious disease, Lesley Rigg said. , Western’s vice president of research.

“The success we have comes from the passion of the researchers, the support we have in place, and the energy on campus that leads to this creativity,” Rigg said. “The ideas and creativity of researchers and scholars on campus is what drives him.”

Much of the research funds received are government-backed, she said, but funds are also available from foundations, industry and individual donors.

“Research is always beyond a university’s operating funds,” Rigg said.

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A team of 140 people spend their days working behind the scenes, writing proposals to raise research dollars, among other things.

“Our team members do everything from filing patents to evaluating research proposals, to helping researchers and our academics translate what they have into something. . . understandable to others,” Rigg said. “We have a whole group working on community and industry partnerships, visiting companies that might want to work with researchers.”

Last year, Western won its biggest federal funding prize yet, winning $60 million from the three government-backed agencies.

The school also received a record $7.6 million in citywide licensing revenue through WORLDiscoveries, a Western department that makes money from licensing and new start-ups.

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But filing a funding proposal doesn’t mean you’ll get it, Rigg said. “The success rates can be very low. . . Often less than 10% of those who apply get the funds.

Research funding also supports graduate students, state-of-the-art facilities “and discovery in all its forms on campus,” she said.

“We have workshops for researchers looking to improve their writing and collaboration skills,” she said. “We are always evaluating equity, diversity and inclusion across the portfolio and decolonization, ensuring excellence has broad understanding and everyone can come to the table.

“Ethics, national security and risk are also considerations,” she said.

“There are so many different things researchers need – we’re very busy.”

Western recently launched a five-year strategic research plan called Mobilize for Impact! intended to ensure Western’s research activities “have an impact,” Rigg said.

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