$2m research gain adds jobs

An almost $2 million research funding boost at the University of Otago has brought new jobs to Dunedin.

A financial report tabled at this week's university council meeting showed in the first half of this year the university had received $41.823 million in external research funding, which was $1.894 million (4.7%) more than expected.

This meant there was more research activity than expected and was the major reason behind a $1.727 million overspend on academic staff salaries.

Research and enterprise deputy vice-chancellor Prof Richard Blaikie said yesterday the extra funding had resulted in new jobs and extra work for some existing staff.

''It is additional money that's flowing into the economies of Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington, where our main research activities are based,'' Prof Blaikie said.

The extra money was from various sources and came amid an ''upswing'' for research at the university, he said.

''We had a very good year for Health Research Council and the Marsden [Fund], but also [attracting] direct contract work for a number of national and international agencies.''

Various factors were behind the improved performance.

''We are coming out of a global financial crisis, so there is more ability for companies to invest [and] government investment has gone up.

''[And] always we have got committed people putting their best foot forward.''


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