Notre Dame tops $200 million in annual research funding for third straight year

Author: Brett Beasley

During fiscal year 2023, the University of Notre Dame received nearly $216 million in new research award funding, topping $200 million for the third year in a row.

This total includes 824 separate awards, the largest number the University has ever received.

Jeffrey F. Rhoads, vice president for research and professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, said, “We are grateful to all of the agencies, foundations, industry partners and others who have supported research at the University — research that is not only leading to new discoveries, but is helping to create a safer, healthier, more sustainable and more equitable world.”

Rhoads added, “Credit ultimately belongs to the dedicated Notre Dame faculty members and students who received the awards and are committed to using every dollar to have the greatest possible impact.”

A few highlights from across the University include the following:

Using data to feed the world

The largest new award to a research institute was to the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society. The award of nearly $5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support a collaborative effort to create evidence-based approaches to agriculture and help alleviate global hunger.

Learn more about this project here.

Theological education for a new generation

Nearly $8 million went to the Department of Theology within the College of Arts and Letters. The funding, which comes from Lilly Endowment Inc., will support Haciendo Caminos, a new partnership of 18 Catholic graduate schools of theology that seeks to identify and form the next generation of U.S. Latino/Latina Catholics. The program brings together Catholic institutions of higher education, advocates and other entities in the wider Church to expand opportunities for U.S.-born or U.S.-raised Hispanic students to enroll and flourish in graduate programs of theological and ministerial formation.

Learn more about this project here.

Solving the mystery of blood vessel formation

An award of $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation went to the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering. The award will support a new platform for discovering how stem cells differentiate and form patterned blood vessels. Solving this mystery could lead to improved implantable tissues and organs.

Machine learning to predict chemical reactions

The National Science Foundation will fund the Center for Computer Assisted Synthesis (C-CAS) in the College of Science with $4 million per year, initially for five years. Led by Notre Dame, 21 researchers at 14 universities will use machine learning to discover new chemical reactions at C-CAS. C-CAS also works with 18 partners from the chemical and pharmaceutical industry to apply its predictive methods to the synthesis of new pharmaceuticals and materials. More than 80 students and postdoctoral fellows in C-CAS will receive training in the emerging field of data chemistry. They will also work with the public to discuss the rapidly increasing use of artificial intelligence in science.

Serving as a trusted partner in the peace process

Within the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies received $600,000 from Humanity United to support its Barometer Initiative, which works in real time to monitor and support the implementation of Colombia’s historic 2016 Peace Accord.

Learn more about this project here.

Training ethical business leaders

In the Mendoza College of Business, $80,000 in new funding from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation will help support a new undergraduate Business Honors Program. The program will help students take a deep look at the moral purpose of business and how it can contribute to human flourishing.

Building for sustainability

The School of Architecture received $225,000 — part of a total $20 million production grant — from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding will support the development and manufacturing of a super wood siding that sequesters carbon, reduces emissions and is resilient to climate change.

The largest portion of the new funding — nearly $120 million — came from federal agencies. The largest single sponsor was the National Science Foundation, which contributed nearly $43 million to research at Notre Dame. Another $38 million came from private foundations, while $24 million came from industry partners and the remainder came from other non-federal sources.

In addition to increasing its number of funded projects, the University expanded its global footprint. Of the new funding, nearly $38 million across 49 awards will support international research. In total, Notre Dame researchers are now conducting projects in 62 different countries around the world.

Originally published by Brett Beasley at on September 05, 2023.