Research Funding Champ
Rice is challenging Texans’ notion that bigger is better, particularly when it comes to security-related research.
U.S. Department of Defense awards to Rice during fiscal year 2009 totaled more than $32 million, pushing Rice well over the $100 million mark for DOD awards during the past decade. The awards come in areas where the university already has notable research strengths — computation, digital signal processing, nanotechnology, quantum magnetism and high-temperature superconductivity.
“If you do a per capita adjustment on the amount of funding we receive per faculty member, I’m sure we are competitive not only in Texas but across the nation," said Sallie Keller, dean of Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering. “The depth of our offering on security-related research covers everything from the evolution of influenza and new treatments for breast cancer to improved chemical safety and atomic physics."
Dan Carson, dean of Rice’s Wiess School of Natural Sciences, said that the key to Rice’s funding
success is the quality of the faculty. “That’s one reason you see such a wide array of research getting DOD funding here," he said. “We have great faculty across the board."
Rice’s breadth of security-related research may be a surprise given the university’s size. With 5,339 students, Rice is the second-smallest member of the Association of American Universities, an organization representing the nation’s top 62 research universities. But Rice held its own against the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, despite having only about one-tenth the number of students.