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Federal Research Support for Universities Dipped in 2015

July 12, 2017
 
 

Federal obligations to universities for science and engineering declined by 2 percent in the 2015 fiscal year, new federal data show.

The report by the National Science Foundation reveals that obligations from the government -- a category of support that includes orders placed, contracts awarded and services received -- totaled $30.5 billion at 1,016 colleges and universities, down from $31.1 billion in 2014. The bulk of the total -- and the bulk of the decline -- came in research and development funding, which declined by about $550 million. Support for fellowships and training grants remained flat, while R&D facilities support declined slightly.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the National Institutes of Health, provided more than half (56 percent) of the federal support, followed by the science foundation (17 percent) and the Department of Defense (11 percent).

The NSF report also includes lists of the institutions that received the most in federal R&D obligations (Johns Hopkins University topped the list, as usual) and of minority-serving institutions receiving the most federal obligations (New Mexico State University).

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