AMES — Iowa State University reports the school attracted 469 million dollars of funding from outside sources in the fiscal year that just ended.

Iowa State’s vice president for research, Sarah Nusser, says that’s a drop of nearly eight percent, but it still ranks as third overall. “In the prior years we had two very large gifts associated with our College of Business and our College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and so this being the third highest year indicates an upward trend in our sponsored funding if you set aside those gifts,” Nusser says.

Nusser says they are seeing more funding from different sources. “I would say that on the research side that we’re showing more diversity in where our funding is growing from,” she says. “So we continue to expand for example, funding from the National Institutes of Health for our bioscience type research. As well as to expand industry and commodity partnerships and domestic nonprofit funding. So, that’s a big win for us at Iowa State.”

The largest source of federal funding goes the Ames Lab at nearly 88 million dollars focused on energy research. That’s followed by more than $42 million in ag funding. Nusser says the focus of that ag research has expanded to new areas. “Looking at how urban and rural systems can work together to improve water quality — both in targeting landscape interventions as well as helping citizens and communities understand their water quality and how they use water in an urban environment,” according to Nusser.

She says there’s also still a lot of research in the traditional ag areas.  “The plant side it really is an integration of engineering for sensors and data scientists for various parts of data processing,” Nusser says, “and our agronomist who have a handle on both the subject matter of those crops, as well as the management of those crops.”

And there’s the animal research side. “We’re also seeing a lot of research in the areas of vaccines and immuno therapeutics having to do with animal diseases. But this also has the potential to translate into helping human disease along the way,” Nusser says. The fiscal year funding for research was a record $260.9 million — which was 6.2 percent jump compared to the previous fiscal year.