Research at ESF
Fundamental and applied research are core pillars of ESF’s mission to address the world’s challenging problems and to develop future generations of environmental scientist and stewards. Societally-relevant research projects engage ESF students of all levels, faculty, postdoctoral associates, and external collaborators. These projects extend from sub-molecular to global scales, and many include important innovations and new processes. More than 35 active patents have been issued to ESF faculty and their students in recent years in various aspects of biotechnology, environmental health, plant sciences, and chemical and environmental engineering advances.
ESF’s research program is supported by a talented and dedicated team of professional staff working in sponsored programs and grants administration, research compliance and finance, and institutional and faculty research development. Additional resources include more than 25 campus-wide multidisciplinary institutes and centers, world-class analytical instrument core facilities, and support for technology transfer, entrepreneurship, and innovation.
It's a great time to be doing research at ESF. Our campus-wide research program is expanding rapidly, with external funding growing by 25% over the last two years to a record $18.1 million in 2022. This includes 20% more active projects and proposals submitted, 30% higher indirect costs recovered, and a 2/3 increase in Federal grant expenditures. More ESF graduate and undergraduate students are employed in externally funded research than any time in the recent past. Over the next two years, we’re welcoming 20 new faculty to campus as part of an interdisciplinary research cluster initiative focusing on emerging areas of climate and the bioeconomy, water resources, urban sustainability, ecological restoration, and indigenous environmental science. Team science has never been more relevant, and we’re ensuring that ESF researchers are working at the forefront of important environmental problems and solutions
John Stella - Vice President of Research