Vol. 6 No. 34 November - December 2016
HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT REPORT SHOWS DECLINE IN FEDERAL FUNDING
Federal funding of higher education research and development declined in both current and constant dollars for the fourth straight year, according to data from the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics within the National Science Foundation. When adjusted for inflation, federal funding for higher education R&D declined 1.7% between FY 2014 and FY 2015 and has fallen almost 13% since its peak in FY 2011. This decrease continues the longest multiyear decline in federal funding for academic R&D since the beginning of the annual data collection for this series in FY 1972.
Despite the overall decrease in federal dollars, universities reported increases in expenditures funded by three agencies in FY 2015: the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Agriculture. The remaining major funding agencies all showed declines between FY 2014 and FY 2015. The largest source, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), decreased for the fourth straight year, from nearly $23 billion in FY 2011 to $20 billion in FY 2015.
All but one of the nonfederal funding sources increased from FY 2014 to FY 2015. The bulk of the increase came from an increase in universities’ own funding of R&D (institution funds), the largest source of nonfederal R&D funding. Institution funds grew 5.9% to $16.7 billion in FY 2015. This source has increased 32.5% between FY 2011 and FY 2015.
Expenditures funded by businesses rose 7.5% in FY 2015 to top $4 billion for the first time. Nonprofit-funded expenditures increased 6.9% to $4.2 billion in FY 2015. Expenditures funded by all other sources—such as foreign governments, other universities, or gifts designated by the donors for research—increased 6.4% to $2.0 billion in FY 2015. The one nonfederal source showing a decline, state and local government, decreased 1.2% to $3.8 billion, roughly equaling the amount reported in FY 2011.
Higher education R&D is heavily concentrated in three fields, which together accounted for 64.3% of the total spent in FY 2015: medical sciences ($21.3 billion), biological sciences ($11.7 billion), and engineering ($11.1 billion) (table 3). Medical sciences showed modest growth between FY 2014 and FY 2015, increasing 3.1% in current dollars. Biological sciences essentially remained steady and engineering grew less than 1%.Two science subfields, atmospheric sciences and astronomy, showed double-digit growth in FY 2015. Atmospheric sciences grew 14.7% to $576 million, and astronomy grew 18.7% to $673 million.
Professor of Russian Dan Davidson has received notification of award in the amount of $3,085,772.26 for his Flagship Language Overseas Program from the National Security Education Program.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Erica Graham has received an award in the amount of $19,580 from AALAC to support her project "Strategic Optimization: Focusing Undergraduate Research to Maximize Scholarship in Applied Mathematics."
Term Professor of Education Jody Cohen and Term Professor of English and Gender Studies Anne Dalke have been awarded $20,000 by AALAC to support their project "Engaging College Communities in and Beyond Prison Education."
Professor of Physics Michael Noel has been awarded $156,092 for the first year of a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for his project "Collaborative Research: Cold Rydberg Atoms."
Assistant Professor of Geology Sydne Record has received an award od $27,558 from the National Air and Space Administration to support a collaborative project entitled "Connecting biodiversity, geodiversity, and remote sensing across scales."
Assistanty Professof of History of Art Alicia Walker has been awarded a Ryskamp Fellowship by the American Councils of Learned Societies in the amount of $61,000 to support her work on Gender Issues in the Art and Material Culture of Byzantium."
D E A D L I N E S