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About SDSU Research

SDSU Research

South Dakota State University supports competitive and strategic research, scholarship and creative activity in our mission as a land-grant university. The university's diverse research covers a range of disciplines, including agriculture, engineering, remote sensing, life sciences, nursing, pharmacy and the arts and humanities.

Our researchers collaborate with partners in academia, industry and the community to find solutions to pressing challenges and support South Dakota's economic development.

Learn about other achievements of SDSU Research.

Research Proposals, Awards and Expenditures Dashboard (Internal Site)

SDSU's Total Research Expenditures



Growth under the goal to foster innovation and increase RSCA.

South Dakota State University recorded a 17 percent increase in research expenditures over five years, driven by the university’s Imagine 2023 strategic plan. President Barry Dunn recognized this growth in research, scholarship and creative activity (RSCA) at his Sept. 20 State of the University address.

“These numbers represent a growth of our university’s research and creative activity output and encourage us to continue investing in this area of our university in the future,” Dunn said.

From Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 through FY23, the university’s annual awards grew from $45.7 million to $140 million in total. Research expenditures also increased to $74 million in 2023, a 17% growth over five years. The growth and other advancements align with the university’s Imagine 2023 strategic plan Goal 3: Foster Innovation and Increase Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.

“Research and scholarly work are critical to the success of all land-grant universities. It is our job to help solve today's complex problems and create new knowledge that enhances society and the communities we call home,” he said. “At SDSU, we are thinking boldly. We have a role and responsibility in helping to solve the critical problems and issues facing our global society.”

Other acknowledgments include:

  • Renovation and construction of 528,000 square feet of research and creative space in the five-year timeframe. Some of these spaces include the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center, the Raven Precision Agriculture Center, Harding Hall and recently Lincoln Hall and Berg Agricultural Hall.
  • Collaborative efforts and support of bioprocessing research led by SDSU and South Dakota Mines through the recently opened Poet Bioproducts Center at the SDSU Research Park on the east side of campus. Funding was supported by the South Dakota state legislature, donors through the SDSU Foundation, Poet and others. He said, “The facility will use biological systems to transform agricultural materials into high-value inputs and end-use products.
  • A center led by Dr. Adam Hopped received a nearly $11 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to create a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) at SDSU. The center will develop new biomedical research capacity to enhance research related to inflammation at the cellular or molecular levels.
  • Dr. Amber Letcher of the School of Education, Counseling, and Human Development led a multi-state team to provide services to prevent opioid abuse in rural South Dakota communities. To date, over 7,000 individuals across 63 communities have participated in the prevention webinars.
  • The National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program named SDSU, along with other universities, is a partner in a $14 million grant to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Great Plains region. Dr. Rajesh Kavasseri and Dr. Todd Letcher in the College of Engineering serve as SDSU’s institutional leads for the program.

Text edited from a transcript excerpt from the State of the University address, delivered on Sept. 20, 2023, by SDSU President Barry Dunn at South Dakota State University.

Research Partners

Monthly Research Reports


  • August 2023 Research Report
    - What's behind Minnesota's moose population decline?
    - SDSU to spearhead NSF-backed fertilizer development project
    - SDSU researcher seeks to improve organic vegetable yields
    - SDSU to improve electrical grids in rural communities
  • April 2023 Research Report

    - Researchers' algorithm allows for more accurate air quality forecasts
    - SDSU's play therapy program works to improve children’s mental health
    - Butzin earns NSF CAREER award
    - Q&A with Steven Wingate

  • June 2023 Research Report
    - School of Design redesigns historic train station
    - Can avocados help curb a plastic waste problem?
    - Cover crops contribute to soil health, study shows
    - Can wild foods positively contribute to a person's diet?
  • May 2023 Research Report

    - David Reynolds, Solving a music mystery
    - Restoring the River Otter
    - Basu Lab awarded grant to study fluid mechanics of transport in dense cancerous tumors
    - Snow to cyanide: The many research applications of mass spectrometers

  • April 2023 Research Report

    - SDSU awarded $1.28 million USDA grant to study barriers of ag conservation practices
    - Cole-Dai awarded NSF grant to study and collect Greenland's ice cores
    - Anderson earns CSCA Federation Prize
    - Roambee partners with Lohr College of Engineering

  • March 2023 Research Report
    • Basu & team draw inspiration from pigs to design novel air filters technologies;
    • Fossil records can help with future conservation efforts;
    • SDSU Poll explores trust in physicians, COVID-19 booster shots;
    • SDSU researcher investigates perceived challenges toward conservation practices
  • February 2023 Research Report
    • Basu to develop nasal spray and oral inhaler testing platform;
    • Fu using AI to predict traffic delay times;
    • Seniors present research at legislative poster session;
    • Santos analyzes economic conditions in South Dakota;


  • February 2022 Research Report
    • Virus-laden droplets increase COVID-19 severity;
    • Diversified crop rotation;
    • Gene mutation discovery;
    • Biomaterial for corneal implants
  • January 2022 Research Report
    • Research refines senior’s career path;
    • NSF research leads to doctoral work;
    • Scientists improving prairie restoration;
    • Small rural businesses need internet


  • 2021 Annual Research Report

    Research in health, engineering, political science and agriculture take spotlight in the 2021 annual research report. The featured researchers started with SDSU seed funding and built programs that have since secured federal funding. In 2021, the university also expanded possibilities with the opening of the Raven Precision Agriculture Center and the POET Bioproducts Innovation Institute's groundbreaking.

  • November 2021 Research Report
    • POET Bioproducts Institute transitions research to the marketplace;
    • Compound from soybeans to improve animal health;
    • Rosemary compound may help postpartum dairy cows;
    • New instrument to help scientists examine molecular interactions
  • October 2021 Research Report
    • Lopez to help unravel rare inflammatory genetic disorders;
    • Tummala to advance curcumin formulation for colon inflammation;
    • Intensively managed grazing can increase profits, improve the environment;
    • Chemistry researchers uncover how cancer uses sugar to evade immune cells;
  • September 2021 Research Report
    • Prasad first ME faculty member to receive NSF Career Award;
    • USGS EROS brings Landsat scientists to Research Park;
    • Palliative care for cancer patients in west central South Dakota;
    • Researchers assess social media use during Jan.6 event
  • August 2021 Research Report
    • SDSU researchers to track chemicals in counterfeit drugs;
    • Community Practice Innovation Center to connect patients with resources;
    • HRSA project focuses on recovery from meth addiction;
    • SD teachers learn how mRNA vaccines work;

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Honors and Awards