Research achieves long-term goal | Texas Tech today

Spending bolsters Texas Tech’s position as a top institution.

In fiscal year 2022-23, Texas Tech University has achieved one of its long-term goals — more than $43 million in federal research spending — and is expected to reach approximately $212 million in total research spending.

Joseph Heppert, vice president for research and innovation at Texas Tech, says the $43 million in federal research spending is a critical metric that speaks to the growth of the university’s research enterprise.

By reaching the goal, Texas Tech is part of the same company as some of the top 50 institutions in the country. It can even determine whether a university is included in the Center for Measureing University Performance’s Top American Research University report.

“Achieving this goal is a fantastic achievement for Texas Tech University,” said Heppert. “That achievement is truly due to the hard work and passion of the Texas Tech faculty, which needs outside funding to support their research. These individuals are working very, very hard to be successful in the battle for that funding at the federal level.”

In August, Texas Tech also announced its largest grant ever. The National Science Foundation (NSF) gave the university $26 million to establish the NSF Engineering Research Center for Advancing Sustainable and Distributed Fertilizer Production, or CASFER. CASFER will be headquartered in Texas Tech, and while the grant is initially $26 million over five years, it can be extended for another five years and $25 million in additional funding.

“The Engineering Research Center award is the most prestigious and most difficult award to obtain from the National Science Foundation,” CASFER Director Gerri Botte said during the August announcement.

The university has seen federal research spending rise nearly 40% since Heppert came to Texas Tech in 2017.

Texas Tech will also earn about $212 million in total research spending when the final count is in, Heppert notes. That number is up from $191.5 million in total research spending a year ago and will be a university record.

“We are very close. That puts us in a very elitist category relative to some of our peers in the Big 12,” he says. in our total research expenditure, but it also speaks to the support that the state and the university are giving to the research enterprise.”


The university’s task is to build on that support in the future, he adds.

The amount of research funding is important because it is a factor that determines access to research funding from the state.

“We compete with some of the other emerging research universities in the state,” explains Heppert.

Texas Tech’s Office of Research & Innovation develops strategies to help early-stage faculty members who are learning to write competitive proposals or transitioning to writing larger proposals. But Heppert also points out that not every Texas Tech faculty member pursues money in science, technology, engineering, or math.

“Obviously we want those individuals to be successful too, so we keep trying to invest in those individuals’ science,” he says.

As COVID-19 becomes more systemic and travel opportunities continue to emerge, Heppert says the Office of Research & Innovation will work to support educators who must travel to conduct research or attend conferences.

“We will continue to support those who feel comfortable and those who travel specifically to engage and present their scholarship in national and international environments,” he says.

Leave a Reply