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UW-Madison: WARF announces annual grant for university research

MADISON — The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation today announced annual support for the University of Wisconsin-Madison research enterprise for the academic year ending in 2023. The total amount is $130.0 million dollars across all grant categories and programs.

Continuing a tradition that dates back to the 1930s, the WARF Board of Trustees has again approved a foundation grant in response to a formal request from the UW-Madison Office of Research and Higher Education (OVCRGE ). The base grant, which supports research during the current fall and upcoming spring and summer semesters, is $66.1 million, a 4% increase from the same amount l last year.

Additionally, WARF announced additional grants to UW-Madison worth $21.7 million, plus an additional $36.2 million provided to the university in the form of operational and functional support. A $6 million grant to the Morgridge Institute for Research rounds out the $130.0 million total.

“The announcement of our annual grant is the highlight of our year,” said Erik Iverson, CEO of WARF. “Our mission is to enable UW-Madison research to solve the world’s problems, and nothing serves this historic mission more fully than supporting outstanding scholars across campus.”

“On behalf of the directors of WARF, we are pleased to continue the decades-long relationship between WARF and our alma mater,” said James Berbee, Chairman of WARF’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to seeing the breakthroughs that UW-Madison research will produce in the years to come.”

As in past years, WARF’s core grant covers a wide range of research-related programs, including $13.5 million for faculty recruitment and retention, $2.5 million for fellowships, research and $12 million for graduate student support.

“WARF’s continued investment gives our university an edge in research and innovation that reaches every part of our campus and, by extension, our state,” said Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin. “This essential support allows the flexibility to focus on exciting and rewarding new priorities while helping us maintain our world-class faculty and provide students with exceptional opportunities to learn and grow.”

The fall research competition, which attracts hundreds of research proposals from 120 different academic departments each year, will receive $11.4 million from WARF.

An additional $11 million has been allocated to strategic initiatives, including Research Forward, which advances transformative projects on campus.

Matching grants for instrumentation, facilities, doctoral training and research programs total $6 million. In addition, $1.5 million covers leadership, staff, policy and implementation support.

Additionally, $8.2 million is committed to the university’s cluster hiring initiative and several other targeted research programs.

“The special initiatives we are able to offer through the continued support of WARF are critical to the success of research at UW-Madison,” said Steve Ackerman, vice chancellor for research and higher education. “These initiatives, from the Fall Research Competition to Research Forward, are generating innovative projects to solve complex problems. They also support graduate students, postdocs, research staff, and faculty, and enable our researchers to develop highly competitive proposals for extramural grant support.

Ackerman adds, “We are truly grateful for the partnership and support of WARF and look forward to the promising projects that this annual grant will help make possible.

WARF’s $6 million annual support to the Morgridge Institute for Research recognizes the private, not-for-profit institute’s ongoing mission to improve human health through interdisciplinary biomedical research. Like WARF, the Morgridge Institute is a support organization affiliated with UW-Madison.

“WARF’s support of the Morgridge Institute is critical to our goal of being an ‘additional arrow in the quiver’ to advance Wisconsin biomedical research,” says Brad Schwartz, CEO of Morgridge. “WARF funding has enabled Morgridge to help accelerate the development of some emerging research priorities at UW-Madison, from metabolism to advanced imaging to research informatics. Our flexible and agile structure enables us to respond quickly to new opportunities, which contributes to UW-Madison’s competitive advantage.

WARF’s annual grant continues a tradition of investing in UW-Madison that dates back nearly a century. While most universities bear the cost of technology commercialization and asset management through their own budgets, the foundation’s mission-driven operational and functional support has provided these services at UW-Madison since 1925. This model unique is the only one in American higher education.

Since it was incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1925, WARF has had as its founding purpose “to promote, encourage and assist scientific investigation and research at and within the University of Wisconsin-Madison”.

The foundation has since funded over $4.1 billion in cumulative research grants to UW-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research (adjusted for inflation), issued over 4,000 patents (with 2,100 active patents) , generates 375 additional invention disclosures and 60 revenue-generating licenses each year and has helped create 185 startups based on WARF technologies.

For more information, visit and watch a video on how WARF manages the innovation cycle.

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