Research funding at the University of Utah climbed 17 percent in the 1997-98 fiscal year, the largest increase in more than a decade.

As of July 31, the university received $195.78 million in outside funding, compared to the $167.62 million received the year before.University officials attribute the recent increase to an investment in the research programs.

"For the last few years we have been very specifically restructuring our intramural funding programs here and the way we invest in faculty ideas," said Richard K. Koehn, vice president for research. "That's starting to pay off in our competitiveness for these sorts of awards."

He said the overall 16.8 percent increase in research, instructional and clinical, fellowships, financial aid and other funding was about four times the national average for colleges and universities.

Funding from federal sources was up 10 percent and commercial sponsorship increased more than 27 percent.

Koehn said the most impressive improvement was funding for teaching - up 35 percent to $12.6 million.