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Aerial view of Bascom Hall
March 28, 2024

New federal spending bills to boost UW–Madison research initiatives

Written By: Caitlin Scott



The University of Wisconsin–Madison is set to receive more than $56 million in new funding for research initiatives after the passage of two federal appropriations packages, with $15 million coming directly to Mechanical Engineering. Bjorn Borgen Professor Christian Franck leads the PANTHER program and Robert Lorenz Professor & Associate Dean for Research David Rothamer is leading the Center for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Propulsion noted in the funded initiatives below.

The set of bipartisan bills, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 9 and March 23, will fund the federal government through Sept. 30. Both pieces of legislations included funding for research projects specific to UW–Madison.

“This funding is a testament to the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s leadership in research and innovation,” said Interim Vice Chancellor for Research Cynthia Czajkowski. “It reinforces our commitment to address the state and nation’s most pressing challenges, from enhancing rural economies and driving innovation in the dairy industry, to advancing research in sustainability and biofuels.”

“We are grateful to Wisconsin’s members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Mark Pocan, for their role in ushering these items through the appropriations process. Their dedication to advancing research and education is vital for shaping the future of our state and university.”

The bills’ passage allows campus to continue research in several high-demand areas, including the social and economic vitality of rural communities, and next-generation energy development.

UW–Madison funded initiatives include:

The funded initiatives reflect UW–Madison’s diverse research portfolio — one of the nation’s largest. Last year, the university topped $1.5 billion in research expenditures, ranking 8th among all public and private universities, according to the latest Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) data.

UW–Madison’s Office of Federal Relations, located in the university’s Washington D.C. office, played a crucial role in the process, working closely with campus stakeholders and federal officials to secure support for critical investments.

A version of this story was originally published by UW News.

Image caption: Bascom Hall and the central University of Wisconsin–Madison campus are pictured in an aerial view during a sunny autumn day on Oct. 22, 2023. Photo: Jeff Miller