The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor reported a record $1.7 billion in research expenditures during the 2022 fiscal year, with projects ranging from tackling global health disparities and Great Lakes water quality to firearm violence and driverless vehicle technologies.
The investment makes U-M the No. 1 public university for research expenditures in the U.S. for the 11th straight year.
“Our research community continues to innovate and thrive, asking the most crucial questions that society needs answered, and then using their knowledge and experience to identify and implement solutions,” says Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research and the William G. Barsan collegiate professor of emergency medicine at U-M.
Total research volume increased by 8.4 percent over the past fiscal year — running from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 — along with a reported record of $973 million in federally sponsored research expenditures — an 8.9 percent increase when compared to fiscal year 2021.
“Research volume is an important metric that highlights our reputation as the nation’s leading public research university, but what is even more important is how we use this funding to spark new discoveries, generate new knowledge and create positive change in communities worldwide. Our university-wide research efforts will have a lasting impact for decades to come.”
The National Institutes of Health remains the largest external sponsor of university research, and during fiscal year 2022, U-M teams conducted $640 million of research awarded by the federal agency to generate new knowledge that enhances human health, lengthens life, and reduces illness and disability. That marks an 11.9 percent increase year-over-year.
The university also reported $100 million in research expenditures from the National Science Foundation, $82 million from the Department of Defense, and $43 million from the Department of Energy — all three of which increased over the past fiscal year.
“The University of Michigan research enterprise changes lives for the better,” says Mary Sue Coleman, president of U-M. “Whether addressing human health, exploring the universe, creating art, or protecting the natural environment, our researchers and scientists are committed to improving our world with their intellect, expertise, and curiosity.”
During the past fiscal year, U-M researchers secured 1,954 research awards, including five from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to support faculty projects involving the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and creative arts.
The total value of U-M research awards exceeded $1.45 billion during fiscal year 2022. Among the largest was a five-year, $38 million grant awarded by NSF to the Institute for Social Research to create a new data platform that allows researchers to access, collect, store, and secure vital information related to people-centered data, increasing confidentiality protections.
The Department of Commerce also awarded the School for Environment and Sustainability a five-year, $53 million renewal grant this past fiscal year to continue and expand the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, with the goal of helping to conserve and manage the region’s natural resources.
Led by the team at Innovation Partnerships, U-M also increased efforts to translate and commercialize research from its laboratories and studios to communities and the marketplace in ways that positively benefit society. During the fiscal year, U-M reported 16 new startups and 433 new inventions based on university research.
The university research enterprise also continues to play a key role in driving economic growth, as U-M teams often partner with external companies to supply goods and services in support of their research projects.
Over the past fiscal year, U-M research contributed $97 million to Michigan’s economy, which supported employment across large and small businesses statewide, according to a report from the Institute for Research on Innovation and Science.
“The continued success of our research enterprise is a direct reflection of the university’s strong partnership with the federal government because, at the end of the day, their financial investments enable our faculty to address and solve challenges that have broad societal impact,” says Kristina Ko, assistant vice president for research who advocates for the schools research enterprise in Washington, D.C.