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Federal Research Support Dipped Nearly 4% in 2014

November 20, 2015

Federal funding for university research and development in 2014 fell by 3.9 percent from the year before, with about two-thirds of that decrease attributable to the phaseout of federal stimulus funds, the National Science Foundation reported this week. Over all, research expenditures by American universities actually rose 0.2 percent in 2014, with most of that increase driven by an increase in spending by the institutions themselves, plus very modest increases in support from state governments and businesses.

Since the 2011 fiscal year, the proportion of total university R&D spending that is supported by federal funds has dropped from 62.5 percent to 56.5 percent; the latter is the lowest point since the NSF survey began in 1972.

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Doug Lederman

Doug Lederman is editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed. He helps lead the news organization's editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Doug speaks widely about higher education, including on C-Span and National Public Radio and at meetings and on campuses around the country, and his work has appeared in The New York Times and USA Today, among other publications. Doug was managing editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education from 1999 to 2003. Before that, Doug had worked at The Chronicle since 1986 in a variety of roles, first as an athletics reporter and editor. He has won three National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, including one in 2009 for a series of Inside Higher Ed articles he co-wrote on college rankings. He began his career as a news clerk at The New York Times. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and graduated in 1984 from Princeton University. Doug lives with his wife, Kate Scharff, in Bethesda, Md.

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