Academic Institutions Receive Federal S&E Funding Increase

June 1, 2016
Federal science and engineering funding for academic institutions sees first increase in five years.

Federal agencies reportedly obligated $30.8 billion to 996 academic institutions for science and engineering (S&E) activities in fiscal year (FY) 2014, the most recent year for which such information is available, a 6% increase over the previous year and the first increase in such funding since FY2009. In current dollars, federal S&E obligations to academic institutions fell by $1.8 billion between FY2012 and FY2013, then increased by $1.7 billion between FY2013 and FY2014, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). During that period of rising funds, the number of academic institutions receiving funding climbed by one.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Defense (DOD) together provided 85% of all federal academic S&E obligations. HHS accounted for 57%; NSF 16%; and DOD 12%. Most of the remaining funding came from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy and NASA. All six of these agencies saw their obligations increase between FY2013 and FY2014.

The Johns Hopkins University, including its Applied Physics Laboratory, continued to receive the most funds out of any academic university, receiving $1.7 billion in FY2014.

Federal academic S&E obligations include:

  • Research and development (R&D) – This category increased by $1.5 billion.
  • R&D plant –This category increased by $89 million.
  • Facilities and equipment for instruction in S&E –This category increased by $7 million.
  • Fellowships, traineeships and training grants – This category increased $444 million.
  • General support for S&E – This category increased by $5 million.
  • Other S&E activities – This category increased by $334 million.

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