UAMS Research Grant Money Strong Despite Challenging Funding Environment

By Ben Boulden

From fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2014, which ended June 30, the total amount of grant awards received by UAMS for medical and basic scientific research fell less than 2 percent from $104.9 million to $103 million.

“Research into new treatments, drug development, medical devices and new technologies at UAMS has led to the formation of new companies that generate good-paying jobs and economic development,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “Keeping research funding strong helps ensure a brighter economic future for the state.”

Federal budget sequestration in 2013 eliminated about 5 percent of research and development funding from the National Institutes of Health, a major source of research grants. Overall research funding from the NIH has fallen steadily since 2003.

UAMS researchers also work and do grant funded research in laboratories at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the Central Arkansas Veterans Health System.

“With the recession and reductions in the federal budget, it’s been a difficult environment for our investigators to compete for grant funding to support their research,” said Lawrence Cornett, Ph.D., UAMS vice chancellor for research. “Maintaining our research funding at levels that are comparable to previous years indicates the quality of research conducted by UAMS investigators.”

In previous years, UAMS has shown its competitiveness in securing other types of grant funding, including funding for infrastructure improvement. A $102 million grant was awarded in August 2010 to UAMS and partner institutions through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Comprehensive Community Infrastructure grant.

The grant was used to form Arkansas e-Link, which uses high-speed data transmission lines to connect more than 400 community institutions for videoconferencing between medical professionals, patients and doctors and others along with the real-time exchange of patient data and readings. A higher education component of e-Link facilitates resource sharing, collaboration and research opportunities at two-year and four-year colleges in Arkansas.

More recently, UAMS radiation health research projects have won more than $17 million in funding in grants and contracts.

The UAMS Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy since 1993 has experienced 20 consecutive years of uninterrupted funding from the National Cancer Institute for the Project Program for research intended to improve growth control of multiple myeloma.


UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.