Research Performance Metrics, Success Stories Shared at "Research @ UNLV" Presentation

Oct. 21, 2015

UNLV sponsored programs expenditures have increased approximately 15 percent since 2012, and research expenditures increased nearly 17 percent in the same period. In FY15 alone, the university performed research, public service, and instruction activities associated with externally funded grants and contracts valued at nearly $50 million.

These metrics and more were shared with campus and community members at “Research @ UNLV,” a presentation by UNLV Vice President for Research and Economic Development Vice President Thomas Piechota.

His presentation was part of the first-ever UNLV Research Week, which included more than 25 events promoting research, scholarly/creative activity, and economic development achievements from across the campus.

Piechota shared a variety of research performance data, as well as success stories from the UNLV research community.

The College of Sciences received more than $13.2 million in award funding in FY15, the largest amount among the colleges. The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs posted the largest percentage gain in award funding in FY15 with a 665 percent increase (from $203,544 in FY14 to approximately $1.6 million in FY15). The Colleges of Education, Business, and Fine Arts also showed significant percentage increases. Award funding from the private sector and foundations also increased by 86 percent to more than $2.8 million.

Patent applications emerging from university research, primarily in the disciplines of science, engineering, and gaming innovation, have tripled in the last two years, and three startup companies have also been formed. UNLV’s metrics in these areas are now comparable to those of several peer institutions.

“The incredible growth in patent and start-up activity is evidence of the university’s commitment to the economic development of the State of Nevada,” said Piechota. “UNLV is an integral partner in the diversification and growth of our state’s economy, as well as in building the quality of life in our community. We are proud of UNLV’s research and economic development endeavors and remain dedicated to their success.”

At the Research Week event, Piechota and President Len Jessup presented plaques to researchers who had produced patents during FY15.  

Disclosures of faculty research with commercialization potential have increased 89 percent since FY13, and revenue from licensing agreements increased significantly in the last three years.  

Another measure of university research activity is the number of doctoral degrees conferred, as doctoral programs require a strong research component culminating in the doctoral dissertation. UNLV doctoral conferrals increased 19 percent in FY15.