Current Grant

Providing more than $100 million of support to UW–Madison in the university's fiscal year 2016-17

WARF’s careful stewardship ensures significant support for the university through an annual base grant, additional grants, department royalty shares, special grants and in-kind support.

Total Grant

Base Grant $55,235,700
Additional Grants $6,264,300 
Department Royalty Shares $3,200,000
Special Grants $20,000,000
Morgridge Institute for Research $14,000,000
Total Grant:   $98,700,000

We strive to provide a consistent base grant that the university can rely on each year for support over multiple funding cycles. The base grant continues WARF's cycle of investing in UW–Madison and making a difference by providing support for faculty and student recruitment and retention and other initiatives.

One of these initiatives, the Fall Research Competition, provides funding for cutting-edge research that is selected by faculty committees and carried out by more than 400 faculty from departments throughout the university.

Base Grant

Faculty Recruitment and Retention $13,635,700
Fall Research Competition $10,305,000
Graduate Student Support $13,000,000
Faculty Fellowships $2,000,000
UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative $6,545,000
Grant Matches for Instrumentation, Facilities, Doctoral Training & Research Programs $4,200,000
New Research Initiatives
Leadership, Personnel, Policy & Implementation Support
Wisconsin Crop Improvement $100,000
Biochemistry Innovation $450,000
Total Base Grant to the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research and Graduate Education:   $55,235,700

In addition to the base grant, WARF provides grants to the university to support programs like the Cluster Hire Initiative and D2P, an initiative that provides UW–Madison faculty and students with an easy-to-access gateway to a comprehensive suite of resources to help transform ideas and discovery into companies and products to bolster Wisconsin’s economy.

Additional Grants

Endowment for Excellence (Cluster Hires) $5,000,000
D2P, Law/Business Entrepreneurship Clinics $1,009,300
WiSys UW–Madison Assessment $200,000
Support for Office of Corporate Relations $55,000
Total Additional Grants:   $6,264,300 

WARF returns 15 percent of licensing revenue directly to the departments of faculty inventors as department royalty shares. The royalty shares offer incentives to campus units that provide an environment in which faculty can be creative and develop innovations. The strength of WARF's technology transfer operations and financial performance for the year led to department share payments totaling more than $3 million.

Department Royalty Shares

Department Royalty Shares $3,200,000

WARF and UW–Madison leaders may consider requests for special initiatives. In recognition of WARF's 90th anniversary and UW–Madison's specific infrastructure needs, in 2015-16 WARF trustees approved an additional grant of $20 million to help support important IT infrastructure commitments that are essential to the university’s research and academic mission. A portion of the grant will also help the campus with matching funds that leverage the $125 million, five-year bioenergy grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to the Wisconsin Energy Institute.

Special Grants

IT Infrastructure/Wisconsin Energy Institute $20,000,000

WARF also provides support to the Morgridge Institute for Research, a private, nonprofit institute that works to improve human health by conducting, enabling and translating interdisciplinary biomedical research in collaboration with UW–Madison.

Morgridge Institute for Research Grant

Morgridge Institute for Research $14,000,000

In addition to the annual grant, WARF provides in-kind support to UW–Madison. This includes the patenting, licensing and commercialization of technologies and royalty shares to inventors, which would otherwise have to be paid for by the university.

Additional Support

Patenting/Licensing Costs $13,900,000
Payments to Inventors $6,400,000
Litigation Expenses $19,800,000
Total Additional Support:*   $40,100,000

* Total does not include support of startup companies throughout the state, development of 4490 Ventures, subsidized lease space of certain university facilities, community and entrepreneurial programs and events and additional programs that promote research, like the Accelerator Program and Discovery Challenge.

All grants are made in accordance with WARF's grant policy. For more information about specific categories and how grants are determined, please visit our grant categories page.

Spending guidelines

Beginning with the 2015-16 fiscal year, WARF has adopted new guidelines that standardize and simplify the way we calculate our annual spending.

In coordination with the WARF board of trustees and the university, our annual spending is determined based on a percentage of the value of WARF’s portfolio (more specifically, the unrestricted portfolio’s rolling three-year average market value). These funds will be used to support the annual grant to UW–Madison, the Morgridge Institute for Research and, if necessary, WARF operations.
The new guidelines:
  • are aligned with spending rates of other institutions our size
  • allow us to support today’s researchers while maintaining support for future generations of university scientists