Ball State receives $19.9 million in outside funding for research projects

Ambitious projects such as iComm lead to a $6 million increase over last year's total

Ball State University received $19.9 million in outside funding for research projects during 2001-2002, a $6 million increase over last year.

"For an institution to experience the kind of growth we have seen in the last three years is the result of the good work of many," said James Pyle, executive director of the Office of Academic Research and Sponsored Programs. "This is a very impressive performance by the university and its faculty."

This is the third consecutive year that Ball State has seen an increase in outside funding for research. During 2000-2001, the university received $13.9 million and $11 million was awarded during 1999-2000.

The selection process by which universities earn funding is nationally competitive. Faculty, students or staff draft proposals for a project and include a budget. Various companies have a review process, see if the proposal meets their approval and ultimately determine if they wish to support the project.

Pyle said the university has been successful in obtaining funding because grants are given in areas that Ball State places emphasis upon, including undergraduate education, K-12 education, health and wellness, community outreach and educational technology.

"The large increases in funding are because we have submitted more ambitious projects, not because we have submitted more proposals," said Pyle.

Among those ambitious projects is iCommunication, a digital education initiative, which is being funded by a $20 million grant from the Lilly Endowment over the course of five years.

"The first year of this program has seen many ambitious beginnings," said Pyle. "They will in turn provide opportunities for additional outside funding to ensure the continuing success of the instructional and research agenda of iComm far beyond the five years of the project."

Pyle said that while iComm is the funding leader, there are 234 other projects that received money last year and funds will also benefit students, faculty and the Muncie community.

"We are becoming much more competitive on the national scale than in the past," said Pyle. "It leads us to believe that we'll have continued success in the future."


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