Recalibrating Research Funding

The current fiscal environment has challenged the adequacy of research funding in several ways: NIH funding is significantly lower in inflation-adjusted dollars compared to its historic peak; many state governments have significantly reduced financial support for higher education, and volatile investment returns have adversely affected endowments.

This erosion of traditional sources of research funding has led academic health center leaders to consider new strategies for funding the research enterprise. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Diversifying funding sources to include increased funding from, and partnering with, non-government sources (e.g., industry, research institutions, foundations, and other health systems);
  • Negotiating with hospitals and health systems to transfer clinical revenue to the academic health center to support research mission; and
  • Advocating for targeted state funding support for biomedical research (e.g., stem cell research) as a key element of the state’s economic development strategy.

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