Press Releases
Jan 10, 2022

A&M Ranks 14th in Total U.S. Research and Development Expenditures, Outpaces Other Texas Universities

Texas A&M University Research Communications and Public Relations
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Texas A&M University rose by eight positions in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) latest annual rankings for total research and development (R&D) expenditures among U.S. institutions, the university announced today.

Texas A&M jumped from 22nd to 14th in the NSF’s newest Higher Education and Research Development (HERD) Survey, released on Dec. 27, 2021. NSF based the ranking on the $1.131 billion in total research expenditures that A&M reported for fiscal year 2020. 

Also, Texas A&M ranked in the top 10 for public higher education institutions and rose significantly in the NSF rankings for federal research expenditures from 36th ($360 million) to 24th ($517 million).

Chancellor John Sharp said investments in recruiting National Academy members and other outstanding faculty members are paying dividends. “Now that we have passed $1 billion, it is obvious to me that the sky is the limit,” he said.

Texas A&M’s significant increase is due to a federal contract with the Department of Health and Human Services administered by Texas A&M Health for the Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing to provide for faster delivery of a safe and effective vaccine for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic since large scale bio-manufacturing traditionally has had long lead times.

“As a Tier 1 research institution, we are committed to addressing critical needs,” said Texas A&M President M. Katherine Banks. “I applaud our talented researchers whose expertise and innovation has sustained the growth of our research enterprise.”

The amounts of R&D spending reported to NSF include all funds expended for activities specifically organized to produce research outcomes and sponsored by an outside organization or separately accounted for using institution funds. NSF considers total research expenditures as a sign of an institution’s contribution to the advancement of U.S. research.

The university’s annual total research and development expenditures includes figures from the flagship university in College Station, its campus in Galveston and The Texas A&M University System agencies.

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The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station also increased federal expenditures by $17 million, primarily due to commencement of a cooperative agreement for the U.S. Army supporting research into new technologies to help the Army Futures Command modernize the nation’s fighting force. 

“This increase demonstrates the strength and vitality of the research enterprise at Texas A&M despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Interim Vice President for Research Jack Baldauf. “I’m extremely proud of our campus research community and the efforts expended conducting life-changing research.”

Of the $86.4 billion total noted in the fiscal year 2020 NSF HERD Survey, nearly half went toward health sciences and biomedical sciences, far outpacing other initiatives. The NSF HERD survey is an annual census of all known eligible U.S. institutions that expended at least $150,000 in separately accounted for research and development in the fiscal year.

Johns Hopkins University led the latest survey with $3.1 billion in expenditures, followed by the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with $1.67 billion and the University of California, San Francisco, with $1.65 billion.

Among other Texas-based universities ranked in the top 50, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center ranked 18th on the latest survey with $1.05 billion; the University of Texas at Austin, 34th with $797 million; the Baylor College of Medicine, 42nd with $685.6 million; and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 47th with $595.9 million.

About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including in science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M generated annual expenditures of more than $1.13 billion in fiscal year 2020 and ranked 14th in the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development Survey. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit Research@Texas A&M.