Research Proposal, Award and Expenditure Activity Remains Steady as we Head Towards the End of FY20

June 21, 2020

Through the unprecedented challenges of the last few months, Princeton’s research activity has remained strong. Over March, April and May, key performance indicators in the research enterprise relating to proposals, awards, and sponsored research expenditures have been steady, and many FY20 totals are currently projected to match or exceed previous fiscal years’ totals.

Chart of number of proposals submitted in FY20

Proposal submissions are up

As of May 31, with a month to go before FY20’s close, Princeton’s researchers had submitted 985 proposals valued at $683.2 million (M), higher than the same July – May period in FY19.  Further, in the three-month period until May 31, while the current wave of the pandemic was profoundly impacting everyone in the research community, Princeton investigators remained active, submitting 271 proposals valued at $144.5M , on par with same three-month period in FY19. [Learn more about Princeton researchers’ proposals and awards related to coronavirus research here.


Chart of number of proposals funded FY20

More proposals funded

The number of proposals funded has also increased over last year. For the current fiscal year to May 31, researchers received funding for 492 proposals, with an anticipated dollar value of $244.9M. For the March – May period of FY20, 109 proposals were funded, representing an increase over the same period in FY19.

Expenditures FY 20

Expenditures remain steady

Through May 31, FY20 campus expenditures for research sit at $238.4M, an increase of almost five percent over the same period in FY19. March – May campus expenditures closed at $55.8M, a decrease of just under five percent over the same period in FY19.

While Princeton halted all non-essential on-campus research activities in late March, President Eisgruber recently reinforced the University’s commitment to research, and phased resumption on campus has now begun.

“The Princeton research enterprise is as strong as ever; the pandemic has given us opportunities to develop new research programs and collaborations focused on the coronavirus, as well as new ways of working with each other. The strength and resilience shown by the entire research community has been amazing,” says Elizabeth Adams, Director of the Office of Research and Program Administration (ORPA). “Like many others, the ORPA team became a 100% virtual organization practically overnight in March. But my colleagues didn’t skip a beat, and we continue to support Princeton’s research enterprise in whatever ways we can.”

The Princeton ERA project is on track for a summer launch

ORPA’s commitment to the research community can also be seen in the progress made by the Princeton ERA implementation team.

Over the last nine months, a group of technical and functional ORPA and Office of Information Technology staff members have been hard at work developing and testing a new cloud-based sponsored research proposal development and submission system targeted to go live in late August 2020. The new Huron-supplied system will replace the 20-year old Coeus system.

“The transition to remote work did not negatively impact the project schedule, and we are excited to deliver training on Princeton ERA this summer, even though the pandemic required a shift from in-person to virtual options.  The ERA team shows the dedication to the University research enterprise despite the current challenges and we look forward to the alleviation of administrative burden once we flip the switch,” says Maureen Thompson-Siegel, one of the functional team members on the project. Learn more about Princeton ERA here.