State Grants

Many research projects are funded with government grants. Other funding sources include private and corporate entities, too. In 2003, the most recent year for which data has been compiled, research grants from all sources totaled more than $94 billion.

Where government grants are concerned, however, the bulk of the funding comes from federal grants, with state grants following. Local governments, such as county and city governments, also contribute to the overall research grant spectrum but on a smaller scale.

State grants vary perhaps more than other types of grants. After all, each state is different from all the rest and every state is more willing to fund research that will benefit its own citizens and territory in the most advantageous ways possible.

Take for example, Florida and Wyoming state grants. It’s likely that state grants issued by Florida will generate research that involves marine life and maritime activities, hurricane awareness, and the health and preservation of its vast marshlands, including the Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades National Park areas.

Wyoming, on the other hand isn’t surrounded by the sea, doesn’t suffer the devastation of hurricanes, and is dry high plains, not lowland marshes. It’s state grants will more likely fund projects that pertain more directly to Wyoming issues such as mining, ranching, and forestry.

There are farms and farmers in every state but state grants for projects that focus on the needs of agriculture on a large scale are more likely to occur in the states of the Great Plains area of the American Midwest, known as the breadbasket of the world.

In states such as Alabama, Florida, and Texas, where the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) operates tourist centers and museums, state grants for the sciences as well as tourism help keep the doors open and the tourists visiting. After all, an entire state benefits from tourism money when unique attractions are located within its borders.

In states where large urban areas are located, state grants for population control, quality of life issues such as crime prevention and pollution control, and transportation are frequently the objective of state grants. In less dense states, with a largely rural population, state grants are better suited to other research projects.

The projects benefiting from state grants in Alaska are clearly different from many of those granted in Hawaii. Or Kansas.

While federal grants are often the source for research projects benefiting the nation as a whole, state grants are much more customized, more localized, in order to serve the needs of a smaller territory.