NSF Report on Fiscal Expenditures for Science R&D in 2007

August 27, 2008

The National Science Foundation has issued an InfoBrief report on some interesting data on science and engineering expenditures by US research institutions for Fiscal Year 2007 [pdf is here].
One way to look at some of these data is that local institutions are stepping up to the plate.

Federal funding of academic science and engineering (S&E) R&D failed to outpace inflation for the second year in a row, according to FY 2007 data from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges. In current dollars, federally funded academic R&D expenditures rose 1.1% in FY 2007 to $30.4 billion. After adjusting for inflation, this represents a 1.6% decline from FY 2006 and follows a 0.2% decline from the FY 2005 level.
Funding originating from academic institutions’ own funds increased 6.6% in FY 2007 to $9.7 billion.

There has been quite a bit of talk (including from YHN) about how local institutions have been abandoning their end of the research burden when NIH seemed to be so flush with easily obtained cash. There seems to be some truth as the first figure from the report shows. Even though the data are for all federal sources, the NIH doubling period is quite obvious. Non-federal expenditures flatlined during this time of federal largess. Actually, this flatlining was a fairly brief phenomenon tied to the end of the doubling when Universities were really just starting to catch on and had started to prod their faculty into rabid NIH grant writing. Unsurprisingly, once the NIH tap was eased closed just a bit, the nonfederal sources started to pick up again. Naturally, institutions didn’t foot the entire bill.

R&D expenditures financed by state and local government funding grew by 6.1% in FY 2007, to $3.1 billion.[2] The most noteworthy increases were reported for industry-funded expenditures. After three consecutive declines between FY 2001 and FY 2004, industry funding has more than regained its ground in recent years and in FY 2007 grew 11.2% to $2.7 billion.

Still, this sort of analysis shows that at least on the national level of data aggregation, local institutions kept right on drumming up nonfederal sources of support for all but a few years of the NIH doubling.
The report continues with the the usual list of the top science R&D institutions. Johns Hopkins tops the list, surprise, surprise, with a host of Usual Suspects (UWMadison, UCs LA, SF and SD, UMich, Duke, etc) appearing in the top 10.
Other listings you may not have seen are the ones for top institutions without an attached medical school (MIT, Cal and Texas A&M are the top 3), for top Hispanic-serving institutions (U. New Mexico, U. Texas Health Sciences San Antonio, New Mexico State U.) and HBCUs (Howard U., Jackson State U., Meharry Medical College). Unsurprisingly these are pikers compared to white-serving universities.

No Responses Yet to “NSF Report on Fiscal Expenditures for Science R&D in 2007”

  1. Holy crap! I made the quoted box in the corner! I just peed myself a little. Seriously.
    I adore you DrugMonkey, I really and truly do.


  2. Mick Says:

    I’m enjoying some coffee at a coffee shop, and all I have to say is you made my day by writing this informative post. Thank you.


  3. I agree that this is a great post – very informative.
    Research!America tracks information on the flip side of this – not the expenditures, but the appropriations of funding for research agencies, including NSF. That info, which we collect and then break down by state, is on our website at http://www.researchamerica.org/state_funding.


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