Three Florida universities crack top 100 of National Science Foundation research rankings

by | Dec 20, 2022

  • Three Florida universities — the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, and Florida State University — placed in the top 100 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) rankings
  • The HERD report, best known for ranking universities throughout the nation on internal investments in Research and Development, external contracts, and grants
  • The University of Florida placed highest among Florida institutions at 27th overall 
  • The University of South Florida received a 68th overall ranking, while Florida State came in at 83rd 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released its 2021 fiscal year Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) data, with three Florida universities — the University of Florida (UF), the University of South Florida (USF), and Florida State University (FSU) — appearing in the top 100 of research expenditure.

The HERD report, best known for ranking universities throughout the nation on internal investments in Research and Development, external contracts, and grants, placed UF as the highest among all colleges and universities in the state at 27th among public schools with $959.9 million spent in the 2021 Fiscal Year.

In July the school announced that it surpassed $1 billion in research spending for the 2022 Fiscal Year, a first for the institution.

“Surpassing the $1 billion research milestone reflects UF’s continued rise as one of the leading research universities in the United States,” UF Vice President for Research David Norton said at the time. “But this number represents far more than dollars – it represents the value of these researchers’ remarkable intellect and talent and its impact on our state, our nation, and the world.”

With the ranking, UF is placed among elite academic institutions such as Vanderbilt University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

USF placed second in Florida at 68th overall. The NSF reports all research expenditures for the school at $405.1 million in the past fiscal year.

The university, located in Tampa, has positioned itself as one of the fastest-rising institutions in the nation. USF ranked 42nd among all public institutions and 97th among all public and private colleges in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking, marking the fourth consecutive year the university has been rated in the top 50 public institutions, and the first time it has been listed in the top 100 among all universities.

FSU rounds out Florida schools in the top 100, receiving the 83rd ranking overall.

The NSF reports $328.6 million in research expenditure at the school, with $150.1 million in funding coming come the federal government. A further $20.6 million was granted to FSU from the state of Florida.

Per NSF data, FSU’s Fiscal Year 21 expenditure is a $103,2 million increase over expenditure in 2012.

A growing expenditure rate can indicate an incoming increase in grants and funding to promote further research at FSU.

Announced last week, FSU’s National High Magnetic Field Laboratory is set to receive $195.5 million over the next five years from the NSF, a 6 percent increase in the lab’s funding levels compared to recent years.

National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, known as the MagLab, performs magnetic field research in a series of scientific fields including physics, biology, chemistry, and more. The MagLab is the only such facility in the nation and is among twelve high magnetic facilities worldwide.

The laboratory serves as a national hub for research endeavors and collaborates with various entities belonging to the private sector.

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