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Vanderbilt jumps in National Science Foundation research-spending rankings

Aug. 3, 2005, 11:54 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–Vanderbilt University has raced up the list of national research-spending rankings, according to a July report from the National Science Foundation on research and development expenditures. The university advanced nine places in the agency‘s rankings to 30th, placing it between Emory University, which ranked 29th, and the California Institute of Technology, which ranked 31st. The rankings are based on the university‘s federal research expenditures in fiscal year 2003.

“This is great news that focuses national attention on our faculty for the terrific job they‘ve been doing across the board to advance the university‘s research objectives,” Dennis Hall, associate provost for research and graduate education, said. “One year ago, Vanderbilt broke into the top 25 research institutions, listed according to federal awards for research, based on fiscal year 2002 figures. Moving up nine notches in the complementary expenditure ranking one year later sends another strong signal that our research star is rising.”

Vanderbilt spent $221,979,000 in federal funds on research and development in 2003, up from $172,858,000 in 2002. The rise in spending is directly linked to the nearly 100 percent increase in federal research and development dollars Vanderbilt researchers won between 1998 and 2002.

The NSF report found that research and development expenditures in 2003 by all universities and colleges increased by 10.2 percent over the previous year, from $36.4 billion to $40.1 billion. The top 100 universities accounted for 81 percent of federally funded research and development expenditures. The survey included 630 institutions.

Federal funding has been the key driver in increases in research and development expenditures across the country, accounting for 61.7 percent of such funding in 2003, the highest level since 1985. Federal funding grew to $24.7 billion in 2003, the final year in a five-year effort by Congress to double National Institutes of Health research spending. Medical sciences accounted for the greatest percentage of the spending in 2003 at $12.8 billion, with biological sciences following at $7.4 billion.

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Media contact: Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS