Grants and Support: Current Grant

Providing more than $100 million of support to UW–Madison in the university's fiscal year 2018-19

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 $52.9 million

Additional Grants $10.3 million

Department Royalty Shares $2.8 million

Special Grants $7 million

Morgridge Institute for Research $12.5 million

Total Grant:   $85.5 million
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 $12,000,000

Fall Research Competition $10,945,000

Graduate Student Support $11,500,000

Faculty Fellowships $2,500,000

UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative $9,500,000

Grant Matches for Instrumentation, Facilities, Doctoral Training and Research Programs $5,000,000

Leadership, Personnel, Policy and Implementation Support

Total Base Grant to the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research and Graduate Education:   $52.9 million
In addition to the base grant, WARF provides grants to the university to support programs like the Cluster Hire Initiative and entrepreneurship clinics, which offer a range of services to help new entrepreneurs navigate business and legal challenges.

Additional Grants

Endowment for Excellence (Cluster Hires) $6,000,000
Law/Business Entrepreneurship Clinics $300,000
Discovery to Product (D2P) $750,000
WiSys UW–Madison Assessment $200,000
Support for Office of Corporate Relations $55,000
Accelerator Program
Biochemistry Innovation
Wisconsin Crop Improvement
Total Additional Grants:   $10.3 million
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 $2.8 million.

Department Royalty Shares

Department Royalty Shares $2,800,000

WARF and UW–Madison leaders may consider requests for special initiatives. In recognition of UW–Madison's specific infrastructure needs, WARF trustees approved an additional grant of $7 million to help support the construction of new research buildings.

Special Grants

Support of New Research Buildings $7,000,000
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 $12,500,000
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 $15,400,000
Payments to Inventors & Other Shared Revenues
Litigation Expenses $4,700,000
Total Additional Support:*   $27 million

* 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.

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

WARF's spending guidelines 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 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