WARF invested $216.8 million into UW research enterprises, topping last year’s donation by over $75 million

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation announced its largest annual investment to the University of Wisconsin research enterprise in its history.

The foundation plans to invest $216.8 million during the 2021-22 academic year. According to an announcement by WARF, $63.6 of the $216.8 million will go to its traditional base grant, which covers faculty recruitment and retention, faculty fellowships and graduate student support.

The funds will also go towards operational and functional support to the university, new research buildings and pandemic support.

In an announcement, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said these funds would allow UW to continue its legacy of supporting Wisconsin leaders and innovators throughout the next generations.

A fraction of the funds will also go towards advancing transformative research on campus and providing grant matches for instrumentation, facilities, doctoral training and research programs. Specifically, they will go towards programs like Research Forward and the Fall Research Competition, which attract hundreds of research proposals each year.

In an email statement to The Badger Herald, WARF Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Jeanan Yasiri Moe said the support for new research buildings, as well as pandemic support to the research enterprise, was combined, pledged and paid.

“This accounts for this year’s higher level of support,” Moe said. “Over many decades, WARF has a long history of investing in UW buildings, major equipment and campus infrastructure including this year’s $50-million donation to the new Computer, Data and Information Science facility announced in September.”

In recent years, WARF has donated large sums to the university but has fallen far short of $200 million in its donations. WARF donated $138.4 million in 2020, $129.6 in 2019 and $125.6 in 2018, according to Moe.

Moe said WARF will continue to make a difference to UW’s research enterprise in the future.

“WARF’s mission is to support scientific research within the UW-Madison community,” Moe said. “Our annual grant to the university does exactly that. Over years the foundation has invested wisely and has an investment portfolio that allows us to invest in our campus and facilitate maintaining their excellence in academic research thereby benefiting the world.”