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Buckeyes receive $80 million in stimulus money

Gen Goodwin

To date, Ohio State has been awarded more than $80 million in funds from the 2009 stimulus package. The university plans to use the funds to fuel some of the 512 proposals submitted by OSU researchers since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed last February.

The stimulus plan set aside a portion of its $787 billion for scientific research at U.S. universities. The bulk of the money that came to OSU was funded by the National Institutes of Health, which sponsored 128 awards totaling $60 million, and the National Science Foundation, which sponsored 44 awards for a total of $16 million.

The university also received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.

OSU has received more stimulus money than any other university in Ohio and trumps many comparable schools, such as Michigan State and Penn State. However, other Big Ten schools received far more than OSU, such as University of Michigan, which received $206 million.

Janet Weisenberger, the senior associate vice president for research at OSU, said the money has been a crucial source of funding for the university.

“It’s important for our researchers because federal funding for scientific and medical research has been very tight in recent years, and many worthy projects have not been successful in securing support,” Weisenberger said.

Among the more noteworthy projects are a $2 million study on the genetics of heart disease, diabetes and obesity; a $1.6 million project to find new treatment for the nerve disease ALS; a $1.4 million grant to the OSU comprehensive cancer center; and a $1.5 million project to expand the use of driverless cars.

Weisenberger said she is excited about the potential effects of these projects along with many others.

“In the short term, jobs were created or retained with the funding,” she said. “Supplement funds have given many undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work on research projects during the summer.

“Over the longer term, the use of these funds to educate students to become highly skilled members of the workforce, the number of lives saved or enriched by the new knowledge created in medical and scientific fields, and the new technologies devised by researchers will serve as the lasting legacy of the program.”  

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