In a year in which universities across America struggled to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing and launching new research, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University faculty brought in a record $78.2 million in scientific contracts and grants, a 30% increase over FY2020.
The $18-million jump over last year represents A&T’s strongest growth year ever in peer-reviewed, competitive funding awards for research programs and represents a total of $12 million in growth over its best previous single-year increase. The growth occurred across a range of disciplines and initiatives and signal A&T’s continued evolution as a doctoral-granting university classified as a “high research activity” institution in the Carnegie Classifications for Institutions of Higher Education. The vast majority of support comes from the most competitive funding arena: federal scientific agencies.
N.C. A&T launched a program six years ago called the Faculty of the Future Initiative that made hiring scholars with significant research backgrounds from leading research universities a priority. In FY2020 and FY2021, those faculty helped drive back-to-back record numbers of A&T research proposals submitted to federal agencies – 451 in FY20 and 494 in FY21.
Though FY2021 research funding overall increased only marginally at those agencies, A&T’s share of it rose disproportionately, thanks to the strategic growth of its research faculty and scientific infrastructure.
“As recently as 2011-12, N.C. A&T faculty were landing $51.3 million annually. To have realized growth of 53 percent over the ensuing decade is a tremendous reflection on the outstanding faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and research staff who each play a valuable role in the practical and often applied research coming out of our university,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “This further establishes North Carolina A&T as one of the state’s top three public research universities, provides additional learning opportunities for our students and contributes significantly to the university’s economic impact.”