Carolina: a national leader in research
Carolina’s research enterprise has doubled in the last decade, reaching nearly $800 million in extramural support in FY 2012. It directly funds more than 4,000 full-time positions and creates at least 13,000 jobs statewide. In a 2011 report titled The Top American Research Universities, Carolina was ranked one of the top 7 public universities. The report, produced by the Center for Measuring University Performance, assessed areas such as research, private support, faculty strength, and advanced training. Among international universities, Carolina was ranked 42nd in the world by the London-based Times Higher Education magazine in 2012–2013.
Based on the most recent available data, Carolina ranks:
- 1st (in a 7-way tie) among the nation’s public research universities (Top American Research Universities, 2011)
- 9th in federal R&D expenditures (NSF, 2012)
- 15th in overall R&D expenditures (NSF, 2012)
- 7th among all universities in HHS expenditures, including NIH (NSF, 2012)
- 42nd among the world’s top 400 universities (Times Higher Ed., 2012–13)
- 20th among U.S. universities and 31st in world ranking (University Ranking by Academic Performance, 2012)
UNC-Chapel Hill research funding for fiscal year 2012 totaled $767,141,341. That number includes $7,460,219 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Federal government funding accounted for 71 percent ($544.9 million) of the 2012 total. The remainder came from sources such as educational and research institutions (7.68 percent), foundations (7.4 percent), business and industry (5.7 percent), North Carolina state and local government (3.9 percent), and nonprofits (2.3 percent). Of the federal funding, 69.5 percent was from the National Institutes of Health. (Source: Office of Research Information Systems. Updated: 8/2012.)
Ninth in federal R&D expenditures
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill rose to ninth from 16th among leading private and public research universities for the level of federal funding ($545.99 million) devoted to research and development in all fields during fiscal 2010. (Source: National Science Foundation and Chronicle of Higher Education. More information here. Updated: 8/2012).
Faculty members collaborate across disciplines, departments, and schools when they conduct research at Carolina. In fiscal year 2012, UNC received almost 1,500 multi-investigator research grants and contracts; the award amount for these totaled more than $471 million. Cross-department collaborations produced more than 1,100 research grants and contracts in 2012, and the total award amount was more than $541 million. Cross-school collaborations produced more than 700 research grants and contracts in 2012, and the total award amount was more than $394 million. (Source: Office of Research Information Systems. Updated: 9/2012.)
In FY 2012, the university received 1,412 subawards from other academic institutions and other collaborators, totaling nearly $81.5 million, and granted more than 1,100 subawards, totaling more than $117 million.
Faculty and students are supported by research
According to an NSF report compiled directly from UNC-Chapel Hill data for fiscal year 2012, research grants and contracts directly supported 7,407 faculty, students, and staff entirely or in part.
Leveraging the expertise of its faculty and students, Carolina provided roughly $79 million in technical assistance and support in 2012 for professionals, public officials, and organizations in North Carolina, translating research results into practical solutions. Carolina research directly funds more than 5,000 full-time jobs and annually creates at least 13,230 jobs throughout North Carolina. Research dollars from UNC-Chapel Hill pay the salaries of employees in almost every North Carolina county.
Research Centers and Institutes
Research centers and institutes contribute to Carolina’s intellectual climate. They also boost the state’s economy by attracting external funding and by helping North Carolina communities and businesses compete for economic development opportunities. In 2012, centers and institutes reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Research had combined state support of $20,384,012 and brought in $148,758,291 in external grants and contracts—approximately $7.30 of research funding for each $1 of state support. The impact of Carolina’s research centers and institutes extends across the state and beyond—including thousands of active research and service projects and hundreds of jobs in North Carolina alone.
Top-Ranked Research Library in the South
The Association of Research Libraries and the Chronicle of Higher Education rated Carolina’s library system seventeenth in the U.S. and first in the South. The survey ranked research university libraries by number of volumes in the library, number of volumes added, number of current serials, total expenditures, and permanent staff. (Source: Chronicle of Higher Education. Updated: 5/2011).
One of the “Top American Research Universities”
In The Top American Research Universities 2009 Annual Report, Carolina ranked seventh among public universities nationwide, and first in the South. The rankings are based on a number of measures such as research funding, private support, faculty awards, faculty membership in National Academies, and doctoral and postdoctoral advanced training. This publication is produced by The Center for Measuring University Performance, Arizona State University. (Source: The Center for Measuring University Performance. Updated: 5/2011.)
Fifth among Public Universities
The latest rankings by U.S. News & World Report rank Carolina fifth among public universities for the tenth consecutive year and twenty-eighth overall. (Source: UNC News Services release; Updated: 5/2011)
A Leader in Entrepreneurship
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranks third in the South and twentieth overall among university graduate entrepreneurship programs, according to Entrepreneur Magazine and the Princeton Review. (Source: Entrepreneur Magazine; Updated: 5/2011.) Carolina ranks 9th in undergraduate and 12th in graduate entrepreneurship programs nationally, according to The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine. Our culture of innovation was accelerated by the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative (CEI), a five-year initiative funded in part by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to develop and launch entrepreneurship programs for faculty and students. Many CEI projects continue to thrive, including new entrepreneurship certificates and minors, business accelerators, and entrepreneurial support for university spin-offs. The Innovate@Carolina Campaign is implementing the next generation of cross-campus entrepreneurship initiatives, ranging from scholarships and endowed professorships to seed funding for the most promising innovations at Carolina. Other efforts include Carolina KickStart (a program to help Carolina faculty commercialize their technology), the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Kenan-Flagler Business School, and the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.
Ranked in Top Five for Nanotech Research
The business trade magazine Small Times has ranked UNC-Chapel Hill fifth in its research category for the university’s work in nano- and microtechnology. The magazine’s annual survey, 2009 University Report and Rankings, identified which institutions are the best of the best in micro- and nanotechnology research and commercialization. (Source: UNC News Services release; Updated: 5/2009)
A Leader in Biotechnology
Carolina fared well in a comprehensive survey of university biotechnology transfer and commercialization conducted by the Milken Institute, a publicly-supported economic think tank in Santa Monica, California. The survey ranked educational institutions worldwide on their biotech publications, biotech patents, and tech transfer. Carolina ranked 28th, 41st, and 25th, respectively, and was among the top four institutions in the South in all categories. The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area was ranked 20th by the Institute among biotechnology clusters.
One of the Best Places to be a Postdoc
The Scientist ranked UNC 18th in the nation in their list titled “Best Places to Work Postdoc 2013.”