Dr. Theresa Reineke with research students at Tech. She is featured as October's Executive Profile in Valley Business FRONT.
With almost $400 million in research expenditures in fiscal year 2009, Virginia Tech is now ranked 44th, according to the just released National Science Foundation (NSF) report based on research expenditures at 697 academic institutions. Virginia Tech ranked 46th in 2008.
The university reported $396.7 million in expenditures for the year ending June 30, 2009, an increase of more than $23 million over 2008. Five years earlier, in 2004, Virginia Tech reported just $268.8 million in expenditures to NSF.
“Perhaps the most significant finding in the new data was our rate of growth compared to other Top 50 programs,” said Robert Walters, vice president for research. “We have grown by an average compounded rate of 8.1 percent per year over the last five years. That ranks us fifth in the rate of growth among those top-tier universities.”
Virginia Tech ranked behind Case Western Reserve (12.38 percent), University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (10.39 percent), UNC Chapel Hill (9.16 percent), and Duke University (9.10 percent).
“It is not surprising that the four institutions ahead of us all have premier medical schools given the national priority of funding medical research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH),” said Walters. “We are fortunate that Virginia Tech's leaders began to make NIH funding a priority around 2000, and also that our faculty have risen to the challenge of competing in this arena.”
"The university has also launched an aggressive program of support for strategically important research through the creation of the Research Institutes of Virginia Tech,” said Walters. "During the past year, institutional strategic planning efforts for growth in health and life sciences research culminated in the establishment of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the hiring of its founding executive director, Michael Friedlander.