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UC Merced Research Awards Top $22M

July 22, 2009

MERCED – The University of California, Merced, continued its
progression as the newest American research university of the 21st
century as school officials announced that the campus received
$22.8 million in grants and awards this past fiscal year, the
highest amount since the university opened.

A total of 85 awards, amounting to $22,827,488, came in between
July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2009, approximately 39 percent more than
the $16.3 million received in fiscal year 2007-08.

“We are proud of our faculty’s growing success in obtaining
grants that are vital to UC Merced’s core mission as a research
university,” said Samuel Traina, vice chancellor for research and
dean of graduate studies. “Research is the cornerstone of the
University of California and we are pleased that UC Merced
continues to garner strong funding.”

UC Merced’s research strengths cover an array of fields, most
notably climate change, solar and renewable energy, water quality
and resources, artificial intelligence, cognitive science and
biomedical topics including stem cell and cancer research.

The $22.8 million in grant and award funds came from a variety
of federal, state and private sources including: the National
Science Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
(CIRM), the National Institutes of Health, the United States
Department of Agriculture and the California Institute for Energy
and the Environment.

Grants received by UC Merced this past fiscal year include:

* A $4.3 million major facilities grant from CIRM for an
on-campus stem cell instrumentation foundry. The foundry will give
scientists on campus and throughout California access to advanced
tools and techniques that will advance discoveries in stem cell research.

* A prestigious CAREER award from the National Science
Foundation to School of Natural Sciences Professor Linda Hirst. She
is the fourth UC Merced faculty member to receive the award, which
is given to young scientists early in their careers.

* A $369,000 grant to UC Merced’s Sierra Nevada Research
Institute to study water resources.

* $500,000 grant used to purchase state-of-the-art robotics
equipment for research in cognitive science and engineering.

“The continued growth in research grants and contracts to UC
Merced allows our innovative faculty and students to conduct
trailblazing, multidisciplinary research that will help solve
problems that affect our region, California and beyond,” said
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Keith Alley.

Some of the grant money awarded to UC Merced in 2008-09 directly
benefits the region in the form of outreach programs, including
efforts designed to increase the area’s college-going rates and
prepare San Joaquin Valley students for the challenges of
university-level coursework.

Grant funds also impact the economic base of the local community
as salaries make up a significant portion of the expenses in UC
Merced’s grant and contract spending activity. Salary and other
dollars stay in the local economy and contribute to housing, retail
and other spending that benefit the region because professors and
other research team members make their homes in Merced and
surrounding areas.




Donna Birch Trahan

UC Merced Office of Communications