New Federal Rankings: U-M Again Tops in Research Spending at Public Universities


tANN ARBOR, Mich.—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.

tThe annual rankings, released by the federal agency this week, 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.

tR&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.

t"Our continuing success in expanding our research enterprise is a direct measure of the exceptional energy and creativity of our faculty," said Stephen Forrest, vice president of research.

t"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 said.

tThe 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.

tNSF revised it 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 University of Michigan campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint were listed separately for the first time, instead of the former designation "University of Michigan all campuses."

tStanding on its own, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor managed to hold 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.

tLast September, U-M announced that it spent $1.24 billion in fiscal year 2011, which ended June 30, 2011. The FY2011 numbers will be included in the next NSF annual report on R&D spending.

tIn fiscal year 2010, federal funds accounted for 58 percent of the research spending at the 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.

tExpenditures 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.

tNSF'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.

tRelated NSF data tables are available at: