Research Growth and Prominence
Research funding totals grew to a record-setting $1 billion in 2010, enabling stellar faculty members, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in their quest for new knowledge that will change lives. During the tenure of Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, innovative partnerships—at home and abroad—drove campus growth and have continued to serve as an economic engine for the regional economy.
- Rise in Research Expenditures: In 2010, UC San Diego surpassed $1 billion in research funding for the first time in the university’s history. This is a 40 percent increase over the funding received in 2004.
- Capture of Stimulus Funds: UC San Diego’s 2010 funding included nearly $160 million in stimulus dollars, more than any other UC campus, and has supported hundreds of projects in medicine, the sciences, the arts, oceanography, engineering and many other fields, and created jobs and led to new discoveries and innovations.
- Increase in Undergraduate Students in Campus Labs: Undergraduate participation in research projects increased 25 percent in the last several years.
- Expansion of Research Initiatives through Collaboration: UC San Diego has established numerous partnerships—locally, nationally and abroad—over the past several years with nonprofits, governments and private organizations including Sanyo Electric Group, Australia Monash University, the Australian Stem Cell Centre, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and J. Craig Venter Institute. UC San Diego is a lead partner in the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine—which was formed in 2006 to expand collaborative work in stem cell research and facilitate its translation into clinical cures—the San Diego Research Ethics Consortium and San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SDCAB). The U.S. Office of Naval Research selected Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego as the operator of a new scientific research vessel. The U.S. Navy is providing more than $88 million to fund the design and construction of the vessel.
- Advances in “Green” Research: UC San Diego has become one of the greenest universities in the nation and is now a living laboratory for climate change research and solutions. The campus self-generates 85 percent of its power needs, mostly from non-renewable natural gas. The university is now focusing on renewable energy projects and will soon have more than 2 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity on campus, in addition to a 2.8-megawatt fuel cell that will convert waste methane gas from the city of San Diego’s Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant directly into electricity. Researchers are also investigating more efficient photovoltaics, renewable fuel sources and energy storage. The university also established a Sustainability Resource Center, increased student engagement in sustainability initiatives, added new green majors, courses and internships in departments across campus, and mandated that all new buildings are designed to meet stringent sustainability standards.
- Enhancement of Rankings for Green Initiatives: UC San Diego is ranked the 9th greenest university in the country by the national publication Greenopia. The nonprofit organization Sustainable Endowments Institute listed UC San Diego as one of the nation’s greenest campuses in its 2010 College Sustainability Report Card. Sierra magazine named the University of California, San Diego the 15th “coolest” school in the nation for going green. UC San Diego is included in The Princeton Review’s 2011 Guide to 311 Green Colleges.
- Top Recognition for Service: UC San Diego is ranked the number one university in the nation by the Washington Monthly’s 2010 College Guide, based on the positive impact the university has had on the country. U.S. News & World Report ranks UC San Diego as the 7th best public university in the nation.
- An Answer to a Call to Service: 62,000 Hours: In 2010–11, the university community celebrated UC San Diego’s 50th Anniversary with numerous events, which brought back to campus hundreds of early faculty, staff, students and alumni from all over the country. It’s estimated more than 250 million people heard or read about UC San Diego and our anniversary in the past year—through newspapers, magazines, television, radio, social media, websites and other communications vehicles. Fox also launched Volunteer50: Chancellor’s Call to Service to encourage volunteerism and showcase the widespread contributions of the UC San Diego community. More than 3,300 volunteers performed over 62,000 hours of service during the anniversary commemoration. According to Independent Sector, which provides the value of a volunteer hour, UC San Diego community donated more than $1.5 million in free labor.