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Released July 21, 2003


HATTIESBURG - Faculty and staff of The University of Southern Mississippi were awarded a record $67 million-plus in research funding this past fiscal year, marking the fifth year in a row externally generated dollars have increased.

During that five-year period, research funding at Southern Miss has more than doubled, leaping from just over $30 million in 1999 to this year's total of $67,132,899.

Fiscal year 2003, which ended June 30, also marked a significant increase over the previous year in the number of proposals for grant funding submitted by Southern Miss faculty and staff. That's something seen as key to the university's ongoing efforts to increase research funding.

This year, there were 639 proposals for grant funding submitted, compared to 574 last year.

"It is wonderful to see funding increase this year over last," said Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames, "and it is even more encouraging to see that the number of proposals submitted have gone up dramatically.

"This is the only way to get our funding to rise, and I am pleased to see the faculty and staff embrace our mission of research."

The Southern Miss College of Marine Sciences - based at the Gulf Coast Laboratory in Ocean Springs - led the way this past year, generating $19,301,715 in external research funding.

Not far behind was the College of Science and Technology - which includes the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials - with $18,534,869 in grants and contracts.

Fiscal year '03 marked the last time these two pillars of Southern Miss' external funding efforts will be broken down separately when such tallies are made. On July 1, the College of Marine Sciences became a department within the College of Science and Technology, effectively placing a combined $37,836,584 in '03 research funding under one administrative roof.

The external funding dollars generated by these and other colleges and programs at Southern Miss are a tribute to the faculty, said Dr. Angeline Dvorak, Southern Miss Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

"Southern Miss's ability to compete in the market of external dollars directly links to the quality faculty and staff that make up the university's research community," Dvorak said. "Southern Miss faculty and staff should be proud of the efforts they have made to ensure that this institution becomes known for its success in external research efforts."

The College of Health and Human Sciences - recently restructured as the College of Health - brought in an impressive $5,514,956 in external research funding this past year. A college that was placed under the new College of Health's auspices - the College of Nursing - generated $735,622.

The former College of Liberal Arts - which has since been expanded into the College of Arts and Letters - garnered $4,966,721 in external research funding. The College of the Arts, now located within Arts and Letters, brought in $115,860 in research dollars.

Faculty within the College of Education and Psychology received $3,304,148 in grants and contracts this past year.

International and Continuing Education at Southern Miss was well-funded, bringing in some $2,341,571 during fiscal year '03, and the College of Business Administration - now Business and Economic Development - generated $182,810 in external funding.

Other areas bringing in significant research funding this past year included the Institute for Disability Studies, which generated $2,746,140.

Resonating throughout the dollars and cents breakdown is the increase in grant proposals submitted, which has helped drive the rise in research funding.

"We are especially excited that our proposal submission numbers have increased," said Connie Wyldmon, director of the Southern Miss Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. "This increase is indicative of our faculty and staff's diligence in pursuing external funding for their research and scholarly activities."

In addition to the $67 million-plus total for fiscal year '03, another $10 million in research funding has been committed to Southern Miss.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM