Florida A&M University reports record year in research and development funding

by | Jan 17, 2023

  • Florida A&M University reported its highest-ever total research and development funding for the fiscal year 2021-22 at $59.3 million 
  • The institution received $75.5 million in total awards during the fiscal year 
  • FAMU places among the best-funded HBCU institutions in terms of research and development, only trailing North Carolina A&T University and Howard University 
  • FAMU, currently at Carnegie R2 status, holds a goal to reach R1 distinction by 2030

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) posted its highest-ever funding for research and development funding for the fiscal year 2021-22, continuing its push for Carnegie R-1 status.

The university reported $59.3 million in research and development funding, a school record, and $75.5 million in total awards during the most recent fiscal year.

In comparison, FAMU reported $47 million in research and development spending and $66.39 million in overall awards in 2020-2021, according to the National Science Foundation.

“Our growing [research and development] expenditures reflect our efforts and allow us to prepare more students as problem solvers,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson.

The figure elevates FAMU toward the top of research and development metrics among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), trailing just North Carolina A&T University, which received $97.3 million in research and development funding, and Howard University, which received $122 million.

FAMU research and development funding increased by more than $10 million over the previous fiscal year, making the Tallahassee-based State University System (SUS) institution first among HBCUs for nonmedical school funding, according to Charles Weatherford, vice president for Research at the university.

“In federal spending, we are No. 1 among HBCUs,” Weatherford said. “It’s clear our competitors are N.C. A&T State University and Howard University.”

Presently, FAMU holds Carnegie R2 distinction, demarcating the institution as one conducts “high research activity,” but maintains a goal to reach R1 status.

The university has set a 2030 goal for R1 designation along with securing $100 million in research awards and $80 million in research spending.

Attaining R1 status typically comes with added benefits, such as an increased level of grant and contract interactions with funding agencies.

As of 2023, six Florida colleges and universities — Florida State University, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida, and Florida International University — have reached R1 distinction, which denotes a “very high level of research activity.”


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