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Universities in Pennsylvania are doing a great job investing in research. Photo credit: GettyImgaes.

Academic institutions spent $89.9 billion on research in the 2021 fiscal year

Find out which universities in the state of Pennsylvania are at the top of the list with the highest research expenses.

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According to a report on the National Science Foundation’s newly released Higher Education Research and Development survey, nearly all of the $3.4-billion increase in research spending was funded by the federal government. 

In the 2021 fiscal year, institutions heavily invested in research — $89.9 billion around the country. This amount was up 4% from the year before. On top of that, many universities in Pennsylvania demonstrated a lot of efforts in increasing spending on research, as shown in the report numbers. 

In past years, universities that had at least $1 billion in research and development expenditures in the 2021 fiscal year dominated the top 30 institutions that reported the highest spending totals — as stated by The Chronicle of Higher Education.  

The top 30 institutions that spent the largest amounts on research in the 2021 fiscal year accounted for more than 40% of such spending in higher education. John Hopkins University is by far the number one research spending — $3,181,385. University of Pennsylvania is number four — investing almost $1,632,000. 

Also in Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh main campus is number 18, and Pennsylvania State U. at University Park and Hershey Medical Center is number 26. 

University of California at Berkeley used to be among the selected group, but now Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are among the top 30 after increasing $115-million in spending. 

The top three subfields in which research spending grew the most in the 2021 fiscal year were respectively: Materials Science; Aerospace, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering; and Geological and earth sciences. 

Seven universities showed fast-growing research spending. Temple University in Philadelphia is among them with a 122.8% change from the 2011 to the 2021 fiscal year. 

The Chronicle in Higher Education also pointed out that federally supported research and development rose 6.6% in the 2021 fiscal year to $49 billion — accounting now for 55% of research funding at all universities. The next largest source of research-and-development funds, 25%, came from institutions themselves: a total of $459 million. It represents a 2.1% increase from 2020. 

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