Research & Innovation

Stevens Research Awards, Expenditures Soar to Record Highs

External funding support jumped 27% year-over-year, while sponsored outlays topped $50 million for first time

External funding support for Stevens research, as well as the university’s own expenditures on its research activity, both rose significantly during Fiscal Year 2023 according to new figures released by university officials for that fiscal year, which concluded June 30, 2023.

Research awards to Stevens rose to $76.7 million during FY23, a 27% jump from FY22’s previous high-water mark of $60.4 million awarded, setting a new record for the fourth consecutive year.

Meanwhile, Stevens’ FY23 externally sponsored research expenditures — an acknowledged marker of continued research quality and activity — surpassed $50 million, also reaching a record high.

The figures represent continuation of a strong decade-long trend that has seen Stevens’ research awards more than double, and research expenditures nearly double, since FY13.

“These continuing increases in total research awards are gratifying, and speak to the quality of our outstanding faculty, leading-edge laboratory facilities and trusted reputation,” said Ed Synakowski, Vice Provost for Research and Innovation.

“Strong and consistently rising research expenditures are also an important metric to celebrate, because they confirm our increasing research impact among our peers and to ranking authorities such as the Carnegie Classification. All of this demonstrates Stevens’ continuing upward trajectory.”

State, federal, private support for AI, safety, security, more

Major research awards granted during FY23 included $25 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to the Stevens-led Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) to help establish a civilian training corps for the nation, as well as multiple prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards to Stevens faculty.

The State of New Jersey and the federal government awarded also nearly $4.5 million combined to the university to augment Stevens’ high-performance computing resources, which enable the Davidson Laboratory's life-saving flood and storm-surge predictions; AI research; quantum science and engineering research; and more.

Federal support of nearly $1 million came via the Fiscal Year 2023 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill signed into law by President Joe Biden in December 2022.

The state award, a New Jersey Higher Education Capital Facilities Grant of $3.5 million from the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, arrived in July 2023 after gaining legislative approval. That award is specifically intended to help educational institutions reimagine spaces to better serve modern students.

“These enhanced technical capabilities will expand Stevens’ information infrastructure and research footprint in multiple ways,” noted Stevens CIO and Vice President for Information Technology Tej Patel at the time of the federal award.

“Faster and more robust computing capabilities will allow our researchers to process real-time data more efficiently than ever before. This significantly strengthens our ability to attack real-world challenges — and develop new technologies and solutions that support local and regional communities — as those challenges are happening.”

Research support is off to another strong start in the current fiscal year, FY24, added Synakowski, noting that Stevens has already received more than $40 million in external research awards through December 2023.