The 50 U.S. Colleges That Spend the Most on Research and Development

research and development

This list will be useful if you have an interest in academic research, but are not sure which colleges and universities will provide the best opportunities for your specific career path. This ranking informs readers about not only the top schools for research investment, but also the schools that contribute the most funding to research in specific fields.

The list is divided between public four-year universities and private universities, although it also includes four institutions exclusively dedicated to medical research. Most of the ranked schools allocate between 50% and 80% of their R&D budget toward science-related research, particularly in the fields of medicine and biology. Engineering R&D funding was a little less consistent throughout the list; some schools evenly split funding for engineering and science R&D, while others provided virtually no funding toward engineering-related activities. With a few exceptions, the schools on our list allotted less than 10% of their R&D budget toward studies and projects outside these two fields.

How to Interpret the Data

As you are browsing the list, be sure to also note the percentage of R&D funds each school has committed to certain fields. Top-ranked Johns Hopkins University, for example, committed nearly $40 million toward environmental science research in 2012 ― but this figure represents only 1.8% of the school’s overall R&D budget for that year. The University of Southern California (#30), on the other hand, spent half as much on environmental science research in 2012, but this represented twice as much of the school’s R&D budget.

Please note that all dollar amounts in our list represent thousands of dollars. For instance, a total R&D expenditure of $150,000 (as presented in the ranking) actually represents $150 million. Also, percentages have been rounded to the nearest tenth.

The School List

  1. 1. Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, MD

    Johns_Hopkins_University_logo
    Johns Hopkins leads all U.S. colleges and universities for research and development by a landslide, outpacing second-place University of Michigan-Ann Arbor by nearly $800 million in annual expenditure. Life sciences (particularly biology and medicine) and electrical engineering were the fields that received the most R&D funding at JHU.

    • Total R&D Expenditure (thousands of dollars): $2,106,185
      • Science: $1,233,438
      • Engineering: $859,561
      • Other: $13,186
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $1,857,580
      • State and local government: $5,109
      • Institution funds: $80,988
      • Businesses: $47,102
      • Nonprofit organizations: $114,054
      • Other donors: $1,352

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  2. 2. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI

    University of Michigan
    University of Michigan leads all public U.S. colleges and universities in research and development. The school receives very little funding from state and local government sources, but manages to offset this shortfall with more than $433 million in institution funds; this figure comprises roughly one-third of the university’s annual R&D expenses.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $1,322,711
      • Science: $1,026,614
      • Engineering: $221,066
      • Other: $75,031
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $791,729
      • State and local government: $639
      • Institution funds: $433,249
      • Businesses: $41,947
      • Nonprofit organizations: $46,970
      • Other donors: $8,177

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  3. 3. University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI

    University of Wisconsin
    Nearly 80% of research and development funding at the University of Wisconsin is allocated for scientific fields; life sciences alone comprise more than half of the school’s entire R&D expenditure. Engineering research, on the other hand, receives relatively little funding at the school in 2012, funding for non-science and engineering research outpaced engineering by more than $25 million.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $1,169,779
      • Science: $916,863
      • Engineering: $113,742
      • Other: $139,174
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $580,661
      • State and local government: $72,156
      • Institution funds: $313,895
      • Businesses: $23,152
      • Nonprofit organizations: $157,818
      • Other donors: $22,097

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  4. 4. University of Washington – Seattle, WA

    University_of_Washington_logo
    Funding for medical science research represents and development more than one-third of University of Washington’s annual R&D expenditure, while environmental and biological science research comprises more than a quarter. Other fields that receive the most R&D funding from UW include unclassified life sciences, electrical engineering, and bioengineering.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $1,109,008
      • Science: $961,218
      • Engineering: $104,196
      • Other: $43,594
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $909,652
      • State and local government: $14,741
      • Institution funds: $74,242
      • Businesses: $19,731
      • Nonprofit organizations: $69,617
      • Other donors: $21,025

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  5. 5. University of California, San Diego – San Diego, CA

    University of California San Diego
    In 2012, UCSD allocated a whopping 87.5% of its R&D funding toward scientific studies. Medical sciences-related projects received more than half of this allotment, while the fields of environmental science and oceanography each received more than $1 million. R&D in non-science and engineering fields earned a relatively low amount of funding ― roughly $8.5 million, most of which came from either the federal government or institution funds.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $1,073,864
      • Science: $939,199
      • Engineering: $126,107
      • Other: $8,558
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $656,891
      • State and local government: $54,974
      • Institution funds: $118,616
      • Businesses: $73,443
      • Nonprofit organizations: $112,971
      • Other donors: $56,969

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  6. 6. University of California, San Francisco – San Francisco, CA

    University of California San Francisco
    Virtually all of the R&D funding at UCSF is allocated to scientific studies. Medical science received the vast majority of these monies (roughly $987 million in 2012), while R&D projects in the fields of chemistry and biological sciences collectively received the remaining funds (roughly $46 million).

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $1,032,673
      • Science: $1,032,673
      • Engineering: $0
      • Other: $0
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $559,329
      • State and local government: $36,401
      • Institution funds: $160,711
      • Businesses: $59,557
      • Nonprofit organizations: $127,679
      • Other donors: $88,996

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  7. 7. Duke University – Durham, NC

    Duke University
    In 2012, Duke University allotted nearly $950 million to R&D studies in biology, medicine, and other life science fields. Engineering research, on the other hand, received less than $60 million, the majority of which funded projects related to either electrical or bio/biomedical engineering. Duke leads all schools in terms of R&D funding from private businesses.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $1,009,911
      • Science: $946,167
      • Engineering: $58,592
      • Other: $5,152
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $587,268
      • State and local government: $5,539
      • Institution funds: $123,198
      • Businesses: $226,200
      • Nonprofit organizations: $66,437
      • Other donors: $1,269

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  8. 8. University of California, Los Angeles – Los Angeles, CA

    University of California Los Angeles
    Nearly $900 million of UCLA’s 2012 R&D budget was given to researchers in scientific fields; $686 million was allotted for medical research. The school also funded more than $33 million in R&D projects outside the fields of science and engineering, outpacing Johns Hopkins in this area by roughly $20 million.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $1,003,375
      • Science: $898,926
      • Engineering: $70,756
      • Other: $33,693
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $539,054
      • State and local government: $46,780
      • Institution funds: $174,526
      • Businesses: $51,311
      • Nonprofit organizations: $101,999
      • Other donors: $89,705

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  9. 9. Stanford University – Palo Alto, CA

    Stanford University
    Stanford University ranked third among the top 10 schools on our list in terms of R&D expenditure for engineering projects. Six different fields of engineering received at least $10 million in 2012, and the federal government provided the lion’s share of these funds.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $903,238
      • Science: $722,400
      • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
        • Federal government: $338,759
        • State and local government: $54,973
        • Institution funds: $137,894
        • Businesses: $92,103
        • Nonprofit organizations: $86,601
        • Other donors: $20,018

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  10. 10. Columbia University – New York, NY

    Columbia University
    All but $100 million of Columbia’s $889 million R&D budget was allotted to scientific research projects in 2012, with life science fields (such as biology and medicine) claiming nearly $600 million. Other fields that received a relatively large amount of funding include physics and electrical engineering.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $889,487
      • Science: $788,570
      • Engineering: $59,239
      • Other: $41,678
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $645,573
      • State and local government: $12,580
      • Institution funds: $102,628
      • Businesses: $37,341
      • Nonprofit organizations: $71,117
      • Other donors: $20,248

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  11. 11. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, NC

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    More than 97% of the 2012 R&D budget at UNC Chapel Hill was allotted to projects in science-related fields; biology, medicine, and non-classified life science fields collectively received roughly $650 million. The school invested less than $4 million in engineering R&D, all of which was earmarked for bioengineering and biomedical engineering studies.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $884,791
      • Science: $860,791
      • Engineering: $3,957
      • Other: $20,043
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $606,348
      • State and local government: $14,722
      • Institution funds: $163,669
      • Businesses: $26,722
      • Nonprofit organizations: $73,108
      • Other donors: $222

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  12. 12. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA

    University of Pittsburgh
    Projects related to medical science alone received 62% of Pitt’s R&D funding in 2012, and science overall comprised about 93% of the school’s research budget. Pitt is the highest ranked school on our list that does not receive any financial R&D support from ‘other’ donors.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $866,638
      • Science: $808,626
      • Engineering: $31,167
      • Other: $26,845
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $637,857
      • State and local government: $9,186
      • Institution funds: $182,144
      • Businesses: $12,060
      • Nonprofit organizations: $25,391
      • Other donors: $0

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  13. 13. University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, PA

    University of Pennsylvania
    The second highest ranked Ivy League school on our list (after Columbia), Penn allocates more than 80% of its annual R&D expenditure toward projects in life sciences (particularly biology and medicine). Other fields that received at least $10 million in R&D funding in 2012 include chemistry, physics, business and management, and electrical engineering.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $847,077
      • Science: $767,369
      • Engineering: $45,841
      • Other: $33,867
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $669,970
      • State and local government: $20,185
      • Institution funds: $52,324
      • Businesses: $42,744
      • Nonprofit organizations: $61,501
      • Other donors: $353

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  14. 14. University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN

    University of Minnesota - Crookston
    A relatively small percentage of R&D funding at the University of Minnesota is derived from federal funds (roughly 59%), but the school makes up the difference with more than $216 million in institution funds. Only University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan boast higher figures in this category.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $826,173
      • Science: $715,839
      • Engineering: $90,993
      • Other: $19,341
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $485,462
      • State and local government: $50,691
      • Institution funds: $216,007
      • Businesses: $29,657
      • Nonprofit organizations: $22,476
      • Other donors: $21,880

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  15. 15. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, MA

    Massachusetts Institute of Technologoy (MIT)
    MIT receives a surprisingly low amount of financial support from state and local government sources (roughly $163,000 in 2012), but the prestigious school received nearly $120 million from private businesses that same year. With the exception of Johns Hopkins, MIT leads all schools on our list in terms of engineering-related R&D expenditure with roughly $365 million.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $824,130
      • Science: $405,168
      • Engineering: $365,199
      • Other: $53,763
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $496,132
      • State and local government: $163
      • Institution funds: $80,832
      • Businesses: $119,068
      • Nonprofit organizations: $88,595
      • Other donors: $39,340

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  16. 16. Cornell University – Ithaca, NY

    Cornell University
    Roughly two-thirds of Cornell University’s R&D budget was allocated to life science-related projects in 2012. $87 million was additionally given to engineering research endeavors ― but interestingly, nearly $35 million of this allotment went toward ‘non-specified’ engineering fields; electrical engineering was the only other discipline in this field to receive more than $10 million in R&D funding.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $802,387
      • Science: $711,943
      • Engineering: $87,851
      • Other: $2,593
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $472,673
      • State and local government: $63,881
      • Institution funds: $145,932
      • Businesses: $31,365
      • Nonprofit organizations: $85,314
      • Other donors: $3,222

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  17. 17. Harvard University – Cambridge, MA

    Harvard University
    Roughly 88% of Harvard’s R&D budget went to scientific studies and projects in 2012 ― although the university is one of the only schools on our list to allocate more funding toward biology-related projects than those concentrated in medical science. The remaining 12% of R&D funding is almost evenly split between engineering and non-science and engineering fields.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $799,432
      • Science: $706,020
      • Engineering: $47,953
      • Other: $45,459
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $589,860
      • State and local government: $1,632
      • Institution funds: $69,386
      • Businesses: $34,901
      • Nonprofit organizations: $91,040
      • Other donors: $12,613

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  18. 18. Pennsylvania State University – State College, PA

    Pennsylvania State University
    In 2012, nearly one-third of Penn State’s R&D budget went toward projects related to life sciences (medical science alone claimed more than $110 million). Beyond that, engineering fields were given the most individual R&D support; electrical, mechanical, and metallurgical/materials engineering each received at least $70 million.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $797,679
      • Science: $485,083
      • Engineering: $298,811
      • Other: $13,785
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $531,421
      • State and local government: $47,402
      • Institution funds: $138,999
      • Businesses: $36,973
      • Nonprofit organizations: $38,626
      • Other donors: $4,258

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  19. 19. The Ohio State University – Columbus, OH

    The Ohio State University
    Nearly 75% of Ohio State’s R&D budget was allocated to scientific studies and projects in 2012, with medical science alone claiming roughly $262 million. Among all of top 20 schools on our list, OSU received the second lowest amount of R&D backing from nonprofit institutions (after the University of Minnesota).

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $766,513
      • Science: $570,741
      • Engineering: $149,341
      • Other: $46,431
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $445,635
      • State and local government: $69,456
      • Institution funds: $91,490
      • Businesses: $100,986
      • Nonprofit organizations: $25,108
      • Other donors: $33,838

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  20. 20. University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley, CA

    University of California Berkeley
    Life science and Non-classified science studies led UC Berkeley’s 2012 R&D budget with roughly $208 million and $152 million in funding, respectively. Less than half of UC Berkeley’s R&D budget came from the federal government; this is a low percentage compared to most schools on the list, but typical of members of the University of California system.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $730,348
      • Science: $524,471
      • Engineering: $172,433
      • Other: $33,444
      • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
        • Federal government: $269,734
        • State and local government: $7,700
        • Institution funds: $138,499
        • Businesses: $13,892
        • Nonprofit organizations: $16,347
        • Other donors: $257

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  21. 21. University of California, Davis – Davis, CA

    University of California - Davis
    Not surprisingly, UC Davis (one of the country’s leading providers of veterinary science education) allotted more funding to agricultural science, biological science, and medical science than any other field. These three fields collectively comprised roughly 72% of the school’s R&D budget in 2012.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $713,292
      • Science: $621,859
      • Engineering: $83,140
      • Other: $8,293
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $358,577
      • State and local government: $59,920
      • Institution funds: $156,550
      • Businesses: $40,392
      • Nonprofit organizations: $64,699
      • Other donors: $33,154

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  22. 22. Washington University in St. Louis – St. Louis, MO

    Washington University in St. Louis
    In 2012, Washington University earmarked roughly 95% of its R&D budget for scientific studies; more than $400 million went toward medical science research alone. Most of the remaining $37 million was allocated to research in two specific fields: electrical engineering and social work.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $706,410
      • Science: $668,913
      • Engineering: $20,122
      • Other: $17,375
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $441,406
      • State and local government: $17,520
      • Institution funds: $109,867
      • Businesses: $45,567
      • Nonprofit organizations: $91,355
      • Other donors: $695

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  23. 23. University of Florida – Gainesville, FL

    University of Florida
    Research in agricultural, biological, and medical science received the bulk of R&D funding at the University of Florida (each field received between $120 million and $170 million). Only 44% of the University of Florida’s 2012 R&D budget came from the federal government, but the school was able to make up for this shortfall in more than $233 million in institutional funding.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $696,985
      • Science: $562,110
      • Engineering: $87,878
      • Other: $46,997
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $305,067
      • State and local government: $94,435
      • Institution funds: $233,648
      • Businesses: $24,662
      • Nonprofit organizations: $32,801
      • Other donors: $6,372

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  24. 24. Texas A&M University – College Station, TX

    Texas A_M University
    Not surprisingly, agricultural science research received more R&D funding from Texas A&M in 2012 than any other specific field, with roughly $176 million (roughly one-quarter of the school’s overall R&D budget). Only 38% of the university’s R&D budget comes from the federal government, but state/local government sources and institution funds generated 46%.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $693,421
      • Science: $413,866
      • Engineering: $256,102
      • Other: $23,453
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $269,460
      • State and local government: $128,819
      • Institution funds: $193,012
      • Businesses: $49,392
      • Nonprofit organizations: $52,378
      • Other donors: $360

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  25. 25. Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, GA

    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Engineering-related research and development comprised roughly 70% of Georgia Tech’s 2012 R&D budget; electrical engineering alone received $176 million in support, while seven other engineering fields were given at least $26 million. In science fields, computer science, chemistry, and physics received the most research funding.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $688,905
      • Science: $201,136
      • Engineering: $482,758
      • Other: $5,011
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $484,212
      • State and local government: $12,487
      • Institution funds: $129,080
      • Businesses: $44,491
      • Nonprofit organizations: $14,788
      • Other donors: $3,847

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  26. 26. University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center – Houston, TX

    M.-D.-Anderson-Cancer-Center
    This cancer research offshoot of the University of Texas allocated roughly 90% of its $685 million R&D budget toward studies in life science; the remaining funds went toward research in fields like chemistry, psychology, and sociology. The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is the highest ranked institution on our list to receive more state/local government funding than federal government funding.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $685,814
      • Science: $685,814
      • Engineering: $0
      • Other: $0
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $196,753
      • State and local government: $246,988
      • Institution funds: $72,864
      • Businesses: $68,414
      • Nonprofit organizations: $100,795
      • Other donors: $0

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  27. 27. Yale University – New Haven, CT

    Yale University
    Yale University is the lowest ranked Ivy League school on our list ― but in terms of overall R&D budget allocation toward scientific research, it places first at roughly 95%. This includes more than $400 million for studies related to medical science and roughly $156 million for research in biological science.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $656,555
      • Science: $621,814
      • Engineering: $33,010
      • Other: $1,731
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $518,184
      • State and local government: $5,229
      • Institution funds: $55,554
      • Businesses: $22,204
      • Nonprofit organizations: $50,547
      • Other donors: $4,837

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  28. 28. Northwestern University – Evanston, IL

    Northwestern_University_logo
    Almost half of Northwestern’s 2012 R&D budget went toward medical science research, while the fields of biology, chemistry, and non-specified sciences collectively received more than $150 million in financial support. Additionally, four engineering fields (biomedical, chemical, metallurgical/materials, and non-specified) each received between $10 million and $20 million.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $631,078
      • Science: $522,201
      • Engineering: $80,250
      • Other: $28,627
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $393,074
      • State and local government: $8,875
      • Institution funds: $156,803
      • Businesses: $15,023
      • Nonprofit organizations: $57,303
      • Other donors: n/a

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  29. 29. University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ

    The University of Arizona
    Roughly 88% of the 2012 R&D budget at the University of Arizona went toward scientific research, with astronomy and medical science claiming more funds than any other field with $132 million and $126 million, respectively. Chemistry, physics, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering additionally received between $16 million and $26 million.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $625,365
      • Science: $552,829
      • Engineering: $62,605
      • Other: $9,931
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $331,578
      • State and local government: $19,915
      • Institution funds: $200,439
      • Businesses: $15,693
      • Nonprofit organizations: $33,695
      • Other donors: $24,045

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  30. 30. University of Southern California – Los Angeles, CA

    University of Southern California
    USC is California’s oldest private research institution, yet the school was still bested in terms of R&D expenditure by five members of the University of California public system. Roughly 85% of USC’s R&D budget went toward scientific research in 2012, and medical science projects and studies claimed more than half of the school’s overall research spending.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $623,544
      • Science: $529,810
      • Engineering: $63,193
      • Other: $30,541
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $443,842
      • State and local government: $18,576
      • Institution funds: $100,648
      • Businesses: $28,353
      • Nonprofit organizations: $32,125
      • Other donors: $0

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  31. 31. University of Texas – Austin, TX

    The_University_of_Texas_at_Austin_logo
    At roughly $72 million, the University of Texas ranks fifth on our list in terms of total R&D spending on non-science and engineering-related research (after the University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, Purdue, and Emory). Education and business and management received the most funding in this category with roughly $30 million and $9.5 million, respectively, while non-specified fields received an additional $20 million.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $621,538
      • Science: $351,019
      • Engineering: $198,293
      • Other: $72,226
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $354,873
      • State and local government: $36,018
      • Institution funds: $125,732
      • Businesses: $67,890
      • Nonprofit organizations: $32,202
      • Other donors: $4,823

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  32. 32. Purdue University – West Lafayette, IN

    Purdue University
    At 12.3%, Purdue ranked second among all schools on our list (after Emory) for total allotment of R&D funds toward research studies and projects unrelated to science or engineering. In terms of individual fields, agricultural science earned the most funding (roughly $117 million), followed by mechanical and civil engineering with $49.5 million and $42 million, respectively.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $602,501
      • Science: $312,103
      • Engineering: $216,037
      • Other: $74,361
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $270,655
      • State and local government: $68,604
      • Institution funds: $184,277
      • Businesses: $32,552
      • Nonprofit organizations: $43,911
      • Other donors: $2,502

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  33. 33. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, IL

    University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
    More than 20% of the 2012 R&D budget at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign went toward research in the field of agricultural science (roughly $134 million). Other fields that received large sums of R&D funding included biological sciences ($63 million), electrical engineering ($44 million), and physics ($30 million).

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $583,754
      • Science: $410,524
      • Engineering: $147,498
      • Other: $25,732
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $359,989
      • State and local government: $25,996
      • Institution funds: $141,817
      • Businesses: $37,433
      • Nonprofit organizations: $18,228
      • Other donors: $291

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  34. 34. Vanderbilt University – Nashville, TN

    Vanderbilt University
    Approximately $248 million (or 44% of Vanderbilt’s R&D expenditure in 2012) went toward medical science, while biological science claimed another $163 million. About 80% of the school’s R&D budget is derived from the federal government; in contrast, state/local government sources only provide $189,000 in financial support for the school’s research activities.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $560,446
      • Science: $478,388
      • Engineering: $55,490
      • Other: $26,588
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $448,948
      • State and local government: $189
      • Institution funds: $73,871
      • Businesses: $12,920
      • Nonprofit organizations: $21,967
      • Other donors: $2,571

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  35. 35. Emory University – Atlanta, GA

    Emory University
    Emory University committed 14% of its 2012 R&D budget (roughly $78 million) toward non-science and engineering research activities; no other school on our list allocated a higher percentage of funds toward research in these fields. Most of the remaining funds went toward scientific research, particularly medicine and biology; only $16 million was allotted to engineering research.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $552,707
      • Science: $457,934
      • Engineering: $16,603
      • Other: $78,170
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $361,165
      • State and local government: $673,000
      • Institution funds: $117,832
      • Businesses: $29,360
      • Nonprofit organizations: $40,917
      • Other donors: $2,760

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  36. 36. Michigan State University – East Lansing, MI

    Michigan State University
    Most of Michigan State University’s research and development activities are concentrated in science; biology- and agriculture-related projects and studies collectively represented nearly 40% of the school’s 2012 R&D expenditures. Combined federal and state/local government sources finance roughly 60% of MSU’s research budget, with institution funds covering most of the remainder.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $507,061
      • Science: $426,038
      • Engineering: $45,582
      • Other: $35,441
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $268,952
      • State and local government: $36,238
      • Institution funds: $172,202
      • Businesses: $5,084
      • Nonprofit organizations: $9,162
      • Other donors: $15,423

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  37. 37. University of Maryland – College Park, MD

    University_of_Maryland_logo
    Although the University of Maryland committed $117 million to engineering-related research and development in 2012 (particularly in the fields of electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering), more than 75% of the school’s R&D budget is focused on scientific research activities. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other donors collectively provide just 3% of the university’s R&D budget; the federal government, on the other hand, supplies more than two-thirds of the funds.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $502,406
      • Science: $381,174
      • Engineering: $117,243
      • Other: $3,989
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $340,180
      • State and local government: $14,433
      • Institution funds: $130,888
      • Businesses: $6,353
      • Nonprofit organizations: $3,109
      • Other donors: $7,443

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  38. 38. Baylor College of Medicine – Houston, TX

    baylor-college-of-medicine
    After the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at #26, Baylor College of Medicine is the second of two exclusively medical research facilities on our list that are located in the city of Houston. BCM’s R&D activities are exclusive to two fields ― biology and medical science ― and the school’s R&D expenditures are somewhat neatly divided between the two.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $474,700
      • Science: $474,000
      • Engineering: $0
      • Other: $0
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $268,753
      • State and local government: $23,278
      • Institution funds: $122,687
      • Businesses: $14,678
      • Nonprofit organizations: $45,304
      • Other donors: $0

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  39. 39. New York University – New York, NY

    New York University
    NYU is the first school on our list with a 2012 R&D expenditure that fell below $500 million ― as well as the only school on our list that funds research projects and studies focused on non-science and engineering fields, but not in engineering fields. Medical and biological science research activities comprise more than 70% of the school’s R&D budget.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $458,645
      • Science: $425,043
      • Engineering: $0
      • Other: $33,602
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $316,208
      • State and local government: $6,127
      • Institution funds: $71,245
      • Businesses: $15,579
      • Nonprofit organizations: $33,377
      • Other donors: $13,109

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  40. 40. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University – Blacksburg, VA

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    The R&D expenditure at Virginia Tech is split nearly 60-40 between science and engineering, although the school committed more than $6 million to research activities outside these two fields ($4 million in the field of education). The federal government, state/local government sources, and institution funds all provide at least $100 million toward the school’s R&D budget.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $454,417
      • Science: $259,136
      • Engineering: $188,918
      • Other: $6,363
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $184,175
      • State and local government: $103,679
      • Institution funds: $121,812
      • Businesses: $25,056
      • Nonprofit organizations: $16,495
      • Other donors: $3,200

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  41. 41. University of Alabama at Birmingham – Birmingham, AL

    The University of Alabama
    UAB is home to one of the country’s leading nursing programs ― and not surprisingly, more than two-thirds of the school’s R&D budget was allocated to medical science-related research in 2012. UAB receives very little funding from state/local government sources and virtually none from ‘other’ donors, but the federal government alone provides roughly 68% of the funds.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $453,779
      • Science: $429,745
      • Engineering: $19,363
      • Other: $4,671
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $306,210
      • State and local government: $818
      • Institution funds: $107,597
      • Businesses: $21,430
      • Nonprofit organizations: $17,724
      • Other donors: $0

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  42. 42. University of Iowa – Iowa City, IA

    University of Iowa
    Three quarters of the University of Iowa’s R&D expenditures went toward life science-related research in 2012 ― but considering Iowa’s role as a major contributor of farmed products, it’s interesting to note that none of these funds support studies or projects in the field of agricultural science. The school derives virtually all of its R&D budget from either the federal government of institution funds; businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other donors provided only 6.7%.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $446,429 <ul,400
    • Engineering: $132,180
    • Other: $48,658
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $636,348
      • State and local government: $36,465
      • Institution funds: $80,878
      • Businesses: $62,918
      • Nonprofit organizations: $79,074
      • Other donors: $7,555

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  43. 43. University of South Florida – Tampa, FL

    University of South Florida
    Medical science and biology receive the bulk of R&D funding at USF (roughly two-thirds in 2012), but the school also provides significant funding for research activities in fields like oceanography, civil engineering, and education. The federal government and institution funds together provide about 85% of the financial backing for the school’s R&D studies.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $443,206
      • Science: $357,065
      • Engineering: $37,629
      • Other: $48,512
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $236,148
      • State and local government: $23,351
      • Institution funds: $142,402
      • Businesses: $24,368
      • Nonprofit organizations: $14,239
      • Other donors: $2,698

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  44. 44. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas, TX

    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
    As a medical research center, UT Southwestern allocates the vast majority of its R&D funds toward activities in two fields: biology and medicine, each of which received at least $200 million in 2012; the remaining funds go toward research in non-specific life science fields. Unlike the two previous medical research facilities on this list, UT Southwestern receives financial backing from ‘other donors’ ― roughly $35 million last year.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $435,085
      • Science: $435,085
      • Engineering: $0
      • Other: $0
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $207,513
      • State and local government: $64,958
      • Institution funds: $64,679
      • Businesses: $18,464
      • Nonprofit organizations: $44,437
      • Other donors: $35,034

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  45. 45. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick, NJ


    Unlike most schools on our list that allocate most of their R&D expenditures toward activities in medical and biological science, Rutgers provided at least $10 million for research in 13 different scientific and engineering fields in 2012. Nearly 80% of the school’s R&D budget came from either the federal government or institution funds.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $434,901
      • Science: $359,614
      • Engineering: $61,123
      • Other: $14,164
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $279,161
      • State and local government: $40,555
      • Institution funds: $68,621
      • Businesses: $15,972
      • Nonprofit organizations: $26,927
      • Other donors: $3,665

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  46. 46. University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH

    University of Cincinnati
    The University of Cincinnati allocated more than 80% of its 2012 R&D expenditures to life science-related research activities alone, with less than 15% of funds going toward projects and studies outside the field of science. Roughly $60 million of the school’s R&D budget came from state/local government sources, businesses, or nonprofit organizations; the rest was provided by either the federal government or institution funds.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $433,688
      • Science: $368,626
      • Engineering: $39,668
      • Other: $25,374
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $267,691
      • State and local government: $10,132
      • Institution funds: $106,980
      • Businesses: $20,600
      • Nonprofit organizations: $28,265
      • Other donors: $0

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  47. 47. University of Maryland Baltimore – Baltimore, MD

    University of Maryland Baltimore County
    The University of Maryland committed the vast majority of its 2012 R&D expenditures (roughly 94%) toward studies and projects in the fields of medicine and biology. The school also allocated more than $13 million toward R&D related to social work; engineering activities, in contrast, only received $6.2 million.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $433,228
      • Science: $408,501
      • Engineering: $6,253
      • Other: $18,474
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $231,886
      • State and local government: $24,690
      • Institution funds: $106,711
      • Businesses: $18,595
      • Nonprofit organizations: $50,876
      • Other donors: $470

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  48. 48. University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus – Denver, CO

    CU_Anschutz_Med_logo
    University of Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus is the only medical research facility on our list that allocated R&D funds toward projects and activities outside the realm of life science in 2012. Roughly $2 million supported research in engineering fields (mostly civil engineering), and another $9 million went toward research in non-science and engineering fields.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $431,997
      • Science: $420,592
      • Engineering: $2,252
      • Other: $9,133
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $315,685
      • State and local government: $15,230
      • Institution funds: $28,290
      • Businesses: $35,928
      • Nonprofit organizations: $30,869
      • Other donors: $5,975

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  49. 49. Case Western Reserve University – Cleveland, OH

    Case Western Reserve University
    Case Western earmarked nearly 85% of its 2012 R&D budget for activities related to life science (with 80% going toward either medicine or biology), with an additional 10% funding engineering research. Approximately 83% of the school’s R&D budget is supported by the federal government.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $431,090
      • Science: $385,526
      • Engineering: $44,720
      • Other: $844
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal government: $359,000
      • State and local government: $14,555
      • Institution funds: $32,968
      • Businesses: $6,647
      • Nonprofit organizations: $16,623
      • Other donors: $1,297

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  50. 50. University of Utah – Salt Lake City, UT

    University of Utah
    Our top 50 list concludes with the University of Utah, a school with a 2012 R&D budget roughly one-fifth that of top-ranked Johns Hopkins ― although it should be noted that Utah’s R&D expenditures exceeded those of nearly 900 other schools ranked by the NSF. More than half of the school’s R&D budget supported life science-related activities, with another 20% going toward engineering-related research projects and studies.

    • Total R&D Expenditure: $430,456
      • Science: $341,654
      • Engineering: $83,904
      • Other: $4,498
    • Funding Sources (thousands of dollars):
      • Federal Government: $273,150
      • State and local government: $1,285
      • Institution funds: $123,639
      • Businesses: $13,514
      • Nonprofit organizations: $16,026
      • Other donors: $2,442

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