Bruce Benson
University of Colorado president Bruce Benson (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)

Faculty at the University of Colorado attracted research awards totaling $774,079,158 during the fiscal year ended June 30, the school announced Tuesday.

That figure was down 5.6 percent from the 2011-12 fiscal year, a reflection of dwindling federal money, school officials said.

Research money accounts for about 33 percent of the university's operating budget. The decrease in federal dollars has created a more competitive environment for that money, and as a result CU and other universities across the country are scrambling for ways to overcome the shortfall.

"We have innovative research faculty, and we not only need to facilitate their great work by having an efficient and effective research infrastructure, we also need to find new partners to augment what we already do for federal agencies," CU president Bruce Benson said in a statement.

The university's Boulder campus received $351.9 million in research dollars, including a five-year, $9.2 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy. A team led by the school's faculty is researching how to modify E. coli to produce biofuels such as gasoline.

The Anschutz Medical Campus drew $395.2 million, including an $11 million grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supporting research to normalize early growth of children of mothers in poor communities with high rates of early-growth retardation.

Anthony Cotton: 303-954-1292, or anthonycottondp