U-M Research Spending Reached Record-Setting $1.6B in FY 2018


Research areas ranging from mobility, opioid addiction, sustainability, and the arts were beneficiaries of a record high in research expenditures at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor during fiscal year 2018.

From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, U-M spent $1.6 billion on research, a 4.4 percent increase from FY 2017.

“As credit to our innovative campus community and strong external collaboration, the University of Michigan has conducted the largest volume of research of any public university in the United States for eight consecutive years,” says S. Jack Hu, U-M’s vice president for research.

“This type of support allows us to advance knowledge, solve challenging societal problems, create new products and services that enhance quality of life, and support students and postdoctoral fellows in research and training.”

The federal government covered 55 percent of the university’s research endeavors last year. Federal investment in FY 2018 totaled $852 million, which supports U-M research that strengthens national security, improves public health, and bolsters economic competitiveness.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health and is consistently the largest external sponsor of U-M research, awarded $579 million to U-M in FY 2018.

Research expenditures from internal sources also increased by 8 percent last year to $524 million. An increase in institutional funding stems partly from targeted research investments that address emerging challenges and opportunities in areas of broad potential impact.

“The continued growth of the research productivity of our faculty is important evidence of the amazing strength of the University of Michigan,” says Mark Schlissel, president of U-M. “I am proud that U-M research spans the breadth of our outstanding university and addresses many of society’s most pressing questions and challenges.”

Industry support also increased last year, as total research expenditures from industry sources reached a record high of $109 million — a 9-percent increase from FY 2017.

Research investment at U-M also culminates in the development of new products and services. In FY 2018, U-M researchers reported a record number of new inventions with 484 — the sixth straight year with more than 400.

The number of startups launched at U-M nearly doubled to 21 last year, and the Office of Technology Transfer also signed a record 218 license and option agreements with companies seeking to commercialize U-M discoveries.