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New federal rankings: U-M leads nation in research spending at public universities
April 19, 2012
For the second straight year, the University of Michigan ranks first in research and development spending among the nation's public universities, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).
The annual rankings, released by the federal agency in early April, show U-M atop the R&D expenditures list for public universities and behind only Johns Hopkins University on the list of all U.S. universities and colleges. The latest NSF rankings cover fiscal year 2010.
R&D spending at U-M increased 18.3 percent between fiscal years 2009 and 2010, up from 14.9 percent growth the previous fiscal year. For comparison, Johns Hopkins' research spending grew 8 percent between 2009 and 2010, while the third-ranked university, University of Wisconsin-Madison, grew 8.6 percent.
"Our continuing success in expanding our research enterprise is a direct measure of the exceptional energy and creativity of our faculty," says Stephen Forrest, vice president of research.
"This is central to our mission as a public university because the excellence of our scholarship not only deeply informs the educational process for our students, but it also fuels the spirit of inquiry, innovation, and entrepreneurship that drives both the regional and national economies," Forrest says.
The FY 2010 results mark the 12th time in the past 26 years that U-M has held the top position among the nation's public universities. U-M held that distinction every year from 1991 through 1999.
NSF revised its reporting procedures for FY 2010 to require research-spending data from "each geographically separate institution campus headed by a president or chancellor." That means the U-M campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint were listed separately for the first time, instead of the former designation "University of Michigan all campuses."
Standing on its own, U-M's Ann Arbor campus held onto its first-place ranking among public institutions, spending $1.18 billion on research and development in FY 2010. When the Dearborn and Flint campuses are added, the total for the year was $1.19 billion.
Last September, U-M announced it spent $1.24 billion in FY 2011, which ended June 30, 2011. The FY 2011 numbers will be included in the next NSF annual report on R&D spending.
In FY 2010, federal funds accounted for 58 percent of the research spending at U-M's Ann Arbor campus. As usual, funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health, provided the largest chunk of the federal funds, accounting for 41 percent of the total with $530.8 million.
Expenditures of funds from the National Science Foundation totaled $66.9 million, followed by the Department of Defense with $63.7 million and the Department of Energy at $27.1 million.
NSF's R&D spending total and U-M's internal research-spending reports don't always match because the two entities use different reporting standards.