In fiscal year 2017, we saw a 4 percent increase in the total number of proposals submitted (1,725)—the largest number in UT history. The total amount requested for these submissions was $558 million, signifying an increase of 0.6 percent. UT researchers were awarded $166 million in FY17, representing a $12 million—or 8 percent—increase over FY16 and the largest amount received in the last five fiscal years.
Most of this year-over-year growth resulted from a $12 million increase in federal obligations. Federal Agencies accounted for 66 percent of the total sponsored obligations or $109 million and of the 30 funding agencies tracked by National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development Survey (NSF HERD), Department of Energy (DOE) and National Science Foundation (NSF) accounted for 71 percent of our total award dollars. Looking at the specific federal agencies, the largest advance came from DOE – up $7 million compared to last year. We also received $4 million from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which represents the largest amount ever received from NASA in a given fiscal year.
In the last quarter, a team led by Tickle College of Engineering’s James Coder, assistant professor of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering, received a NASA award of $9.8 million over five years for the proposal entitled “Advanced Aerodynamic Design Center for Ultra-Efficient Commercial Vehicles.” Another notable award of $3.3 million over four years from the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences went to the College of Education’s Kimberly Wolbers, associate professor of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, Health and Human Sciences, for an efficacy study of strategic and interactive writing instruction (SIWI). In the fourth quarter, we had six awards in excess of $1.25 million with periods of performance ranging between 2-5 years.