West Virginia Universitys physics research program is among the top 100 federally-funded physics research programs in the nation, according to the most recent data available from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The NSF study for Fiscal Year 2002 puts the WVU program at 95th in the nation in terms of federal funding to support basic research. The program netted $2,921,000, to finish ahead of New York, Iowa State, Case Western Reserve and Syracuse Universities.

Dr. Earl Scime, physics chair, credits the showing to a decades worth of national competitiveness for the WVU program.

The WVU Department of Physics is pleased that the research activities of the physics faculty have been so successful over the past decade,Scime said.By breaking into the top 100 departments in terms of federally funded research, we have established WVU as a competitive physics research institution.

The National Science Foundation strives to fund specific research proposals that have been judged the most promising by a rigorous and objective merit-review system. NSF , with an annual budget of $5.5 billion, funds approximately 20 percent of all federally supported scientific research at universities in the United States.

Recent growth in the physics faculty size, through the support of the dean, the provost, and the WVU Research Corp., finally brings the size of our faculty closer to those of our peers,Scime said.Once those new faculty are established, we expect that we will be able to rise even higher in the federally funded research rankings.

Dr. Fred King, associate dean for research and graduate studies, commended the physics faculty for their hard work in achieving this level of success.

This is one indicator of the quality of the programs in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences,King said.In these times of tight federal funding for research, it is a significant accomplishment for any department to break into the top 100.

Data was retrieved from the National Science Foundation, Academic and Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2002 athttp://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf04330/.

The department of physics is housed in WVU s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, contact Scime at escime@wvu.edu .

WVU classified as a Research University (High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teachingconducts over $150 million annually in sponsored contracts and research grants each year.