Gains and Losses in R&D

Within NSF’s rankings of top 25 institutions in R&D expenditures, 14 institutions are up at least one spot, while six are down at least a notch.

November 28, 2016
 
University of Washington

The National Science Foundation last week released its annual report on the top universities in total research and development expenditures.

Johns Hopkins University led with $2,305,679,000 in spending in 2015, but Hopkins always leads this ranking because the university's total includes expenditures by the Applied Physics Laboratory, the largest of the country's affiliated research centers that conduct research to support national security.

This year, 12 universities in the top 25 went up at least one spot, with Cornell University and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center each going up two spots, Cornell from 14 to 12, and the M.D. Anderson Center from 21 to 19.

The institutions that went up by one spot were (in order of their rank on the study):

  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Harvard University
  • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University
  • University of Florida

Five universities are down by two or three spots -- a subject of much discussion at one of them, the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Others down two or three spots are Columbia University, Pennsylvania State University and the Universities of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Pittsburgh. Down by one spot are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ohio State University and the University of California, Davis (which dropped out of the top 25).

The following table includes the top 25 universities in R&D expenditures, their total for 2015 and their rank in 2014.

Top 25 Universities in R&D Expenditures, 2015

University and 2016 Rank Total R&D in 2015 2014 Rank
1. Johns Hopkins U $2,305,679,000 1
2. U of Michigan at Ann Arbor $1,369,278,000 2
3. U of Washington at Seattle $1,180,563,000 3
4. U of California, San Francisco $1,126,620,000 5
5. U of California, San Diego $1,101,466,000 6
6. U of Wisconsin at Madison $1,069,077,000 4
7. Duke U $1,036,698,000 7
8. Stanford U $1,022,551,000 9
9. U of California, Los Angeles $1,021,227,000 10
10. Harvard U $1,013,753,000 11
11. U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $966,781,000 8
12. Cornell U $954,412,000 14
13. Massachusetts Inst of Technology $930,719,000 12
14. U of Minnesota Twin Cities $880,618,000 15
15. Columbia U $868,159,000 13
16. Texas A&M at College Station $866,678,000 17
17. U of Pennsylvania $864,068,000 18
18. U of Pittsburgh $861,205,000 16
19. U of Texas M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center
$833,406,000 21
20. Ohio State U $817,881,000 19
21. Yale U $803,004,000 22
22. Pennsylvania State U $791,031,000 20
23. U of California, Berkeley $788,505,000 23
24. Georgia Institute of Technology $765,370,000 24
25. U of Florida $739,522,000 26

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