The most recent statistics from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Survey of Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions show that federal agencies obligated a new high in current dollars of $28.7 billion to 1,226 academic institutions for science and engineering (S&E) activities in FY 2006. While this total represents a 1% increase in current dollars, it represents a 2.3% decrease in inflation-adjusted constant 2000 dollars over FY 2005 levels (table 1). The slight current-dollar increase follows a 3.8% current-dollar increase (0.6% increase in constant 2000 dollars) in total federal academic S&E support between FY 2004 and FY 2005. Unless otherwise stated, all obligation percentage changes listed below are in current dollars. Eighty-eight high-Hispanic-enrollment (HHE) schools, 78 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and 28 tribal colleges received federal S&E funding in FY 2006.
Federal academic S&E obligations include six categories: research and development (R&D), which has accounted for 85%–89% annually 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 reached $25.4 billion in FY 2006, a 1.7% current-dollar increase (a 1.6% decrease in constant 2000 dollars) over the prior year (table 1). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was the source for 63% ($16.0 billion) of all federal academic R&D obligations in FY 2006 (table 2). Federal obligations for general support for S&E rose by 1.4% to a level of $394 million in FY 2006, most of which also was provided by HHS.
Each of the four remaining S&E categories showed decreased current-dollar funding levels in FY 2006.
Federal obligations for FTTGs decreased by less than 1% to a level of just over $1 billion.
Funds for facilities and equipment for S&E instruction fell by 59% to $16 million, mostly from decreased support from the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration and NSF.
Funding for R&D plant projects totaled $309 million, a 27% decrease, stemming almost entirely from decreased National Institutes of Health support within HHS.
Obligations for other S&E activities decreased slightly (by less than 1%) to $1.5 billion.
HHS accounted for 60% of all federal FY 2006 academic S&E obligations (table 2). Three agencies, NSF (14%), DOD (10%), and HHS, when combined, provided 85% of total federal academic S&E funding. The Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Energy provided most of the remaining academic S&E total (11%). Of these six agencies, only DOD and NSF showed increased constant 2000 dollar levels for academic S&E in FY 2006.
The Johns Hopkins University (including its Applied Physics Laboratory) continued to be the leading academic recipient of federal S&E obligations in FY 2006 (table 3). Together, HHS and DOD provided Johns Hopkins with 86% of its federal S&E funds. Most (93%) of the university's total federal S&E obligations ($1.34 billion) supported R&D programs, with other S&E activities and FTTGs accounting for most of the remainder.
The leading 20 universities ranked in terms of federal academic S&E obligations accounted for 35% of the federal academic S&E total in FY 2006. Nineteen of these 20 academic recipients were also ranked among the top 20 recipients in FY 2005. Vanderbilt University (ranked 20th in FY 2006, after being 23rd the prior year) replaced Cornell University, all campuses (ranked 22nd in FY 2006, after being 19th in FY 2005).
Federal S&E Support to Minority-Serving Academic Institutions
This InfoBrief is the second 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 78 HBCUs (from a total of 102) totaled $444 million in FY 2006 (table 4), a 7.3% decrease from FY 2005 levels. This level was the first current-dollar decrease in HBCU funding since FY 1998. HHS contributed about one-third of all federal academic S&E obligations to HBCUs with USDA funding over one-fourth of the total. R&D programs accounted for over three-fifths of the HBCU total with other S&E activities totaling almost one-quarter. Howard University was the leading HBCU recipient of federal S&E obligations, receiving $34 million (of which $28 million was for R&D) in FY 2006, with 70% of the total from HHS. The leading 20 HBCUs ranked by federal academic S&E support accounted for 70% of the academic S&E total for HBCUs in FY 2006. Fifteen of these 20 HBCU recipients were also ranked among the leading 20 HBCU recipients in FY 2005.
In FY 2006, 88 HHE institutions (out of 238) received $603 million in federal academic S&E support (table 5), a 2.2% current-dollar increase over the total of HHE institutions in FY 2005. More than one-half of all federal academic S&E support to these institutions was from HHS, and 74% of the S&E total was for R&D projects.
The leading HHE recipient ranked in terms of FY 2006 federal academic S&E obligations was the University of New Mexico (only its Gallup campus is not a high-Hispanic-enrollment institution) (as it was in FY 2005). Nearly two-thirds of its $109 million academic S&E total was from HHS and about $9 of each $10 was R&D related. Seventeen of the top 20 HHE institutions were among the leading 20 HHEs listed in FY 2005. The leading 20 HHE institutions accounted for 90% of the academic S&E total in FY 2006 for all such institutions.
There were 28 tribal colleges (from a total of 32) that received federal academic S&E support in FY 2006. S&E funding levels for tribal colleges decreased by 20% in FY 2006 after a 51% increase between FY 2004 and FY 2005. NSF and USDA, combined, funded 64% of the academic S&E total of $29 million to tribal colleges (table 6). R&D programs comprised less of the total S&E support of tribal colleges (about one-third) than it did for other types of institutions. One-half of all tribal college funding was for other S&E activities. The leading tribal college ranked in terms of federal S&E support received in FY 2006 was Salish Kootenai College, located in Pablo, Montana. Over one-half (54%) of its $4.6 million went for other S&E programs, and about one-half (49%) was from NSF.
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 over 4%, to a new high of $6.7 billion, between FY 2005 and FY 2006 (table 7). Most of the increased funding (64%) was from HHS. Massachusetts General Hospital received the most federal R&D and R&D plant funds among nonprofits in FY 2006 (as it did the prior year), with HHS providing 90% of its federal S&E support. The 10 leading nonprofit institutions in terms of these federal funds in FY 2006 received 31% of the total funding to all nonprofits. Seven of these 10 nonprofit recipients were hospitals or medical research institutes. Each of these leading 10 nonprofits in FY 2006 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 ($307 million) of federal R&D and R&D plant obligations.
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 2006 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 2005 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 2006, 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 2006 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 the author.
 Richard J. Bennof, Division of Science Resources Statistics, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965, Arlington, VA 22230 (email@example.com; 703-292-7783).
National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics Federal S&E Obligations to Academic Institutions Reach New Highs in FY 2006
but Fail to Keep Up with Inflation
Arlington, VA (NSF 08-316) [October 2008]