Jeanan Yasiri Moe
Director of Strategic Communications

WARF announces annual grant figures

Support reaches all areas of campus

MADISON, Wis. – With a focus on faculty recruitment and retention as well as seeding opportunities to attract students through graduate fellowships, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is reinvesting in the future of UW–Madison.

WARF, the nonprofit foundation that patents and commercializes campus inventions, has granted the university $85 million for the academic year. Combined with funding WARF provides the Morgridge Institute for Research, the total investment is approximately $99 million for 2016-17. As in prior years, the annual grant does not take into account the significant additional value of WARF's in-kind support in covering patenting, licensing and other expenses.

"WARF's primary purpose is to promote, encourage and aid scientific investigation and research by UW-Madison's faculty, staff and students," says WARF Managing Director Erik Iverson. "Those investments benefit the UW-Madison and, by extension, are investments in our great state of Wisconsin. WARF's annual grant is one way we're proud to show our commitment."

The total includes $13.6 million for faculty recruitment and retention and $3.6 million for new research initiatives. Another $13 million for graduate student support is part of the grant.

"Our ability to recruit and retain our world class faculty, one of the UW's greatest assets, was greatly enhanced by WARF's investment this year," says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. "This is just one more demonstration of how WARF's support facilitates the margin of excellence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison."

Another $10.3 million has been dedicated to the Fall Research Competition. Over nearly a century the competition draws hundreds of research proposals from 120 different departments each year. WARF funding for the university's cluster hire initiative — an effort to support interdisciplinary studies — continues at $5 million.

This year, $6.5 million has been provided to the UW2020 WARF Discovery Initiative which provides seed funding to researchers to begin research that taps creativity and inventiveness. A total of 28 projects were started with last year's inaugural funding of the initiative. "This initiative has allowed us to support some of the most innovative research proposals advanced by interdisciplinary groups of faculty and staff on our campus," says Marsha Mailick, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. "This funding of new ideas will most certainly lead to significant new discoveries and additional outside funding."

Just over $1 million was approved to support UW's D2P program designed to nurture business startups as well as the campus' law and business entrepreneurship clinics.

WARF's investment of $14 million continues its support for the Morgridge Institute for Research. The private, nonprofit institute works to improve human health through interdisciplinary biomedical research in collaboration with UW–Madison.

In 2015-16 an additional $20 million was approved for the 2016-17 year to fund specific infrastructure needs at UW-Madison including information technology commitments essential to the university's research and academic mission.

For more information on our current grant, visit

About WARF
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founded in 1925 as an independent, nonprofit foundation, WARF manages more than 1,700 licensing agreements and an investment portfolio of $2.6 billion as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit

Click infographic to download a printable pdf version.
Click infographic to download a printable pdf version.