UW–Madison increases research expenditures by $16M to retain top-10 ranking

The National Science Foundation has released its 2021 fiscal year Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) data, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison has again ranked eighth in the national research rankings for public and private universities. UW–Madison ranked eighth in the last survey covering the 2020 fiscal year. The rankings are the first to include a full fiscal year reflecting pandemic impacts.

Between July 2020 and the end of June 2021, the university increased its annual research expenditures over the previous year, reporting more than $1.38 billion in annual expenditures across all fields, about half of which comes from federal awards. It represents an increase of $16.1 million over fiscal year 2020.

The HERD survey is an annual census of institutions that spend at least $150,000 on separately budgeted research and development in a fiscal year and is the primary source of such expenditure data at American universities and colleges. It is one way to measure academic research activity.

The survey collects information on expenditures by research field and funding source. It also compiles information on types of research expenses and the number of research and development personnel. In fiscal year 2021, more than 909 universities responded to the survey.

Some of UW–Madison’s largest research expenditures in fiscal year 2021 include:

  • $26.9 million for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (Department of Energy);
  • $11.2 million for the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration);
  • $10.4 million for the multi-study, multi-center initiative Inner City Asthma Consortium (National Institutes of Health);
  • $2.7 million for the Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (National Science Foundation); and
  • $2.2 million for the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin/Center for Dairy Research Dairy Research Applications Program (Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin).