The National Science Foundation's (NSF's) latest statistics from the Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions show that federal agencies obligated a new high of $28.4 billion to 1,227 academic institutions for science and engineering (S&E) activities in FY 2005. This amount represents an increase of 3.8% in current dollars (0.6% in inflation-adjusted constant 2000 dollars) over FY 2004 levels (table 1). This increase follows a 2.5% current-dollar increase (0.1% in constant 2000 dollars) in total federal academic S&E support between FY 2003 and FY 2004. Ninety-one institutions with high-Hispanic-enrollment (HHE) schools, 79 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and 29 tribal colleges received federal S&E funding in FY 2005, as did 1,185 independent nonprofit institutions.
Table 1 Source Data: Excel file
Categories of Academic S&E Support
Federal academic S&E obligations are divided into six categories: research and development (R&D), which has accounted for 84%–88% of total federal academic S&E obligations over the last decade; R&D plant; facilities and equipment for S&E instruction; fellowships, traineeships, and training grants (FTTGs); general support for S&E; and other S&E activities.
Federal academic R&D obligations totaled a new high of $25.0 billion in FY 2005, a 5% current-dollar increase (1.9% in constant 2000 dollars) over the prior year (table 1). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was the source for 63% ($15.8 billion) of all federal academic R&D obligations in FY 2005 (table 2) and for 58% of the total R&D increase between FY 2004 and FY 2005. Federal support for R&D plant rose by over 10% to a level of $422 million in FY 2005 (table 1).
Table 2 Source Data: Excel file
Each of the four remaining S&E categories showed decreased funding levels in FY 2005.
- Federal obligations for FTTGs decreased by less than 1% to a level of just over $1 billion, with HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration responsible for most of the decrease.
- Funds for facilities and equipment for S&E instruction fell to $40 million, a 52% drop, with HHS, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Defense (DOD) reporting most of the decline.
- Funding for general support projects totaled $398 million, a 6% decrease stemming almost entirely from decreased HHS support.
- Obligations for other S&E activities decreased by over 8%, to $1.5 billion.
HHS accounted for 61% of all federal FY 2005 academic S&E obligations (table 2). Three agencies, NSF (14% of academic S&E), DOD (10% of academic S&E), and HHS, when combined, provided 84% of total federal academic S&E funding. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Energy (DOE) provided most of the remaining academic S&E total (11.5 %). Of these six agencies, NASA and NSF showed decreased constant 2000 dollar levels for academic S&E in FY 2005.
The Johns Hopkins University (including its Applied Physics Laboratory) continued to be the leading academic recipient of federal S&E obligations in FY 2005 (table 3). Together, HHS and DOD provided Johns Hopkins with about five-sixths of its federal S&E funds. Over five-sixths of the university's total federal S&E obligations ($1.23 billion) supported R&D programs, with most of the remainder allocated to other S&E activities.
Table 3 Source Data: Excel file
The leading 20 universities ranked in terms of federal academic S&E obligations accounted for 34% of the federal academic S&E total in FY 2005. Nineteen of these 20 academic recipients were also ranked among the top 20 recipients in FY 2004. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (ranked 17th in FY 2005, after being 21st the prior year) replaced Pennsylvania State University (ranked 22nd in FY 2005, after being 19th in FY 2004).
More academic institutions received federal S&E support in FY 2005 (1,227 academic institutions) than in all but 1 of the previous 32 years (1,242 academic institutions in FY 2004). Over the last decade, a small decrease in the number of universities and colleges that received R&D obligations (down to 908 institutions in FY 2005 from 921 institutions in FY 1995) has been offset by strong growth in the number that had R&D plant and FTTGs support.
Support in these two "capacity-building" categories, when combined, went from 789 institutions in FY 1995 to 983 institutions in FY 2005. Note that in the intervening years of the past decade the number of academic institutions that received federal R&D support ranged from 816 in FY 1999 (somewhat of a downward trend from FY 1995 to FY 1999) to 898 in FY 2003.
Federal S&E Support to Minority-Serving Academic Institutions
This InfoBrief is the first to present data from the Federal S&E Support survey on minority-serving institutions: historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), high-Hispanic-enrollment (HHE) institutions, and tribal colleges. Federal academic S&E obligations to 79 of the 102 HBCUs totaled $479 million in FY 2005 (table 4), a 1.5% increase over FY 2004 levels. HHS contributed just over one-third of all federal academic S&E obligations to HBCUs with USDA funding over one-fifth of the total. R&D programs accounted for over three-fifths of the HBCU total with other S&E activities totaling over one-fifth. For the second consecutive year, Hampton University was the leading HBCU recipient of federal S&E obligations, receiving $44 million in FY 2005, with over three-fourths of the total from NASA. Just over $9 of every $10 in Hampton University's total federal S&E obligations were for R&D programs.
Table 4 Source Data: Excel file
The leading 20 HBCUs ranked by federal academic S&E support accounted for 72% of the academic S&E total for HBCUs in FY 2005. Seventeen of these 20 HBCU recipients were also ranked among the leading 20 recipients in FY 2004.
In FY 2005, 91 HHE institutions (out of 288) received $590 million in federal academic S&E support. More than one-half of all federal academic S&E support to these institutions was from HHS, and 72% of the S&E total was for R&D projects.
The leading HHE recipient ranked in terms of FY 2005 federal academic S&E obligations was the University of New Mexico, all campuses. Nearly two-thirds of its $111 million academic S&E total was from HHS and the great majority was R&D related. The leading 20 HHE institutions accounted for 91% of the academic S&E total in FY 2005 for all such institutions (table 5).
Table 5 Source Data: Excel file
There were 29 tribal colleges (from a total of 32) that received federal academic S&E obligations for FY 2005. NSF and the Department of Education, combined, funded 60% of the academic S&E total to tribal colleges (table 6). R&D programs comprised less of the total S&E support of tribal colleges (26%) than it did for other types of institutions. Most tribal college funding was for other S&E activities (55%). The leading tribal college ranked in terms of federal S&E support received in FY 2005 was the United Tribes Technical College, located in Bismarck, North Dakota. Nearly all of its $5.1 million went for other S&E programs, and about $6 of every $7 were from the Department of Education.
Table 6 Source Data: Excel file
Federal S&E Support to Nonprofit Institutions
NSF collects statistics on federal obligations to independent nonprofit institutions for two of the six S&E categories—R&D and R&D plant. Federal S&E obligations to nonprofit institutions increased by nearly 5%, to a new high of $6.4 billion, between FY 2004 and FY 2005 (table 7). Most of the increased funding was from DOD and NASA. Massachusetts General Hospital received the most federal R&D and R&D plant funds among nonprofits in FY 2005, with HHS providing most of its federal S&E support. The 10 leading nonprofit institutions in terms of these federal funds in FY 2005 received 30% of the total funding to all nonprofits. Six of these 10 nonprofit recipients were hospitals or medical research institutes. Each of these leading 10 nonprofits in FY 2005 also ranked among the top 10 in the prior year. Of all nonprofit recipients that were not hospitals or medical research institutes, the Mitre Corporation received the largest amount ($283 million) of federal R&D and R&D plant obligations.
Table 7 Source Data: Excel file
The data on federal S&E obligations to academic and nonprofit institutions presented in this InfoBrief were obtained from 19 agencies that participated in the FY 2005 Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions. The survey collects federal S&E support data by funding agency, institution, type of activity, type of institution, and geographic location. The six funding categories of federal S&E support are defined as follows:
- Research and Development includes all direct, indirect, incidental, or related costs resulting from or necessary to performing R&D by private individuals and organizations under grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.
- R&D plant includes all projects whose principal purpose is to provide support for construction, acquisition, renovation, modification, repair, or rental of facilities, land, works, or fixed equipment for use in scientific or engineering R&D.
- Facilities and equipment for S&E instruction include all programs whose principal purpose is to provide support for construction, acquisition, renovation, modification, repair, or rental of facilities, land, works, or equipment for use in instruction in S&E.
- Fellowships, traineeships, and training grants include all fellowship, traineeship, and training grant programs that are directed primarily toward the development and maintenance of the scientific workforce.
- General support for S&E are funds used for scientific projects and support for activities within a specified discipline; explicit purpose is not specified.
- Other S&E activities include all academic S&E obligations that cannot be assigned elsewhere and activities in support of technical conferences, teacher institutes, and programs aimed at increasing precollege and undergraduate students' scientific knowledge.
Institutions are identified as having high Hispanic enrollment for this report based on fall 2004 enrollment. They are institutions whose full-time equivalent (FTE) fall enrollment of undergraduate students is at least 25% Hispanic in a given year. The fall enrollment data are self-reported by the institutions to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The exact number and identification of HHE institutions can vary from year to year.
An HHE institution is not necessarily a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI). HSIs are eligible institutions that have recently received grants from the Department of Education's HSI program, authorized by Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. In 2005, eligibility for the HSI program was defined as nonprofit institutions with at least 25% Hispanic FTE undergraduate enrollment and at least 50% of the Hispanic enrollment had to be low income. The Third Higher Education Extension Act of 2006 removed the low-income criterion for defining eligibility for the HSI program.
The full set of detailed statistical tables on the FY 2005 Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions will be available online at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/fedsupport/.
For more information, contact
Richard J. Bennof
Research and Development Statistics Program
Division of Science Resources Statistics
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230
 This InfoBrief is revised. Data for high-Hispanic-enrollment institutions
presented in table 5 and related text were revised to correct
errors in data reporting.