FY 2014 external funding is second highest on record

External funding at Iowa State increased to $368.4 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's a 12.9 percent increase from the previous year's total of $326.4 million, and the second-highest total for the university.

"As we anticipated, external funding has rebounded well from last year's federal budget sequester impact," said President Steven Leath. "We are especially pleased that funding from federal sources was up substantially, by 21.6 percent over last year's federal total."

External funding includes grants, contracts, gifts and cooperative agreements from federal, state and local government sources and from corporations, foundations and other universities.

These funds support Iowa State researchers, students (including student financial aid), education programs, equipment purchases, buildings and extension activities. The funding is in addition to state appropriations, which support daily operations of the university. The increase in FY14 returns the university to a long-term upward trend, taking into account the federal budget anomalies of the sequestration last year and the federal stimulus in FY10. Funding that year remains the highest external funding ever at Iowa State.

"Iowa State's faculty and researchers have remained very competitive," said Sarah Nusser, vice president for research. "Because our research is well aligned with national and state priorities, as well as with industry and other funding organizations, we saw real growth in 2014."

Top sources of funding

The U.S. Department of Energy was the single largest source of federal agency funding in FY14, at $59.7 million. The second highest source was the U.S. Department of Agriculture at $57.9 million, and the third highest was the National Science Foundation at $31.6 million.

Funding from federal agencies totaled $210.1 million, up from $172.7 million the previous fiscal year. Non-federal funding, which includes state and local government, businesses, corporations, foundations, universities and colleges, totaled $158.3 million, up from $153.7 million the previous fiscal year.

Iowa State external funding: FY14



Federal by agency*






Health and Human Services












National Science Foundation




Environmental Protection Agency




Federal subtotal








Foreign federal govt


Foreign higher education


Foreign industry/corporate


Foreign nonprofits


Higher education






Iowa local govt/school districts


Non-Iowa state & local govt


Nonprofit organizations


State of Iowa


Non-federal subtotal




*Includes all formula funding, federal direct funding and regular federal grant and contract activity