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Research Funding

US academic research and development spending in 2018 by the numbers

NSF’s annual Higher Education Research & Development survey shows a 5.4% increase in spending since 2017

by Andrea Widener
November 22, 2019

 

  • $1.9 billion

    Spending on chemistry R&D, up 4.6% from 2017

  • $79.4 billion

    Higher education R&D spending in fiscal 2018, up $4.1 billion from 2017.
    It’s the third straight year of increases

  • $934 million

    Spending on chemical engineering R&D, flat from 2017

Source: National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD), 2018

 


Support sources

Federal funds are still the largest source of university research support, but nonprofit spending has increased 29% since 2015.

20191122lnp3-source.jpg
Note: 2018 fiscal year for most institutions is July 2017 through June 2018. Some numbers do not add to 100% because of rounding.
Source: National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD), 2018

Agency breakdown

The bulk of federal funds to universities comes from the Department of Health and Human Services. Support from all agencies except the Department of Agriculture increased in 2018.

20191122lnp3-fed.jpg
Note: 2018 fiscal year for most institutions is July 2017 through June 2018. Some numbers do not add to 100% because of rounding.
Source: National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development Survey (HERD), 2018

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