UMN Research Statistics

The Vice President for Research and Innovation (RIO) tracks key research metrics for the University of Minnesota, including national rankings, proposals and awards, sponsored expenditures, and technology commercialization performance measures. Several of these metrics are part of Commitments 2 and 3 in the University’s MPact 2025 dashboard and progress card

In December 2022, the University announced that it had successfully competed for $1.05 billion in external research funding in fiscal year (FY) 2022, the second largest total in history and the second consecutive year the University has received more than $1 billion in sponsored research awards.

Vice President for Research and Innovation Shashank Priya presented a more detailed analysis of the University’s fiscal 2022 research and technology transfer work to the Board of Regents at its December 2022 meeting. Watch the presentation from December 15, 2022 or see presentation slides, Research At-A-Glance, and the printed annual report.

FY 2022 research data is available in the RIO Research Reporting Center for analysis by departments and colleges.

Research Awards

The $1.05 billion research award total in FY 2022 represents the continued strength of the University’s research enterprise.

Awards by Source: All Campuses, FY22


Funding sources: $359.2M Federal NIH; $64.7M Federal-NSF; $194M Federal-Other; $92.6M Private-Business/Industry; $84.9M Private-Universities & Colleges; $119.4M Private-Other; $135.5M State & Local. $1.05B Total.
Dollar amounts in millions

Federal agencies remained the largest source of awards, comprising approximately 60 percent of all award funding. Among all federal agencies, National Institutes of Health (NIH) ($359.2 million) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) ($64.7 million) awarded the most support. The Federal: Other category includes agriculture ($50.3 million), defense ($34.6 million), energy ($30.7 million), and education ($14.4 million).

Overall, many of the FY 2022 awards received carried large dollar amounts. The University has seen a 39% growth in the number of high-dollar awards (over $1 million) over the past five years. Over a five-year period (FY 2018-FY 2022), the University’s awards have been on a positive trajectory overall and across all funding sources.

More than half (56%) of award funding went to medical and health-science related colleges and units. On the Twin Cities campus, the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources saw a 52% increase ($32.5 million) and the College of Liberal Arts saw a 62% increase ($12.8 million) in funding. The University’s Duluth campus saw a 137% increase in awards, receiving $23.8 million total.

R&D Expenditures

Research expenditures, which include both external awards and internal institutional funding and are gathered then published by NSF in the following year, were $1.07 billion for the Twin Cities campus and $1.10 billion across all campuses.

Based on FY 2021 expenditures, the University’s Twin Cities campus ranked 14th among US public research institutions in the HERD (NSF) survey. It ranked 10th among the same group according to another ranking, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU/Shanghai), and 44th among all world universities.

At 14th, the University is within $75 million or 7% of the next five public universities above it in the HERD survey. While placing among the top ten public research universities in HERD is a goal set out by the University’s MPact 2025 plan, Vice President Priya told the University's Board of Regents, this small differential should not distract the University from long-term planning that will result in improved and sustainable standing.

Selected Top US Public Research Institutions


Rankings of universities against a variety of criteria. Contact for an alternative version of this information.
Expenditures in thousands of dollars.
*Higher Education Research and Development Survey (National Science Foundation)
Academic Ranking of World Universities

Research Priorities

Looking ahead, the University is positioning itself for continued success through a number of initiatives outlined by VP Priya:

  • Creating a National Security Engagement strategy to achieve more support from the agencies including the Department of Defense
  • Launching an International Institute for Biosensing
  • Bringing together visionaries from the University, funding agencies, industry, and foundations in spring 2023 to discuss the research areas that will be important in the year 2030

Other initiatives include expanding gap and capital investment funding pools, establishing a Faculty Burden Reduction Committee, and relaunching the Social Justice Impact Grant program. With two years of sponsored research awards over $1 billion, VP Priya has also called for investment in research infrastructure and research services to match this new research plateau as well as to prepare for future growth.

Technology Commercialization

University-developed technologies reach the market through UMN Technology Commercialization, which facilitates the transfer of University research to licensee companies for the development of new products and services that benefit the public good, foster economic growth, and generate revenue to support the University’s mission.

See UMN Technology Commercialization statistics for new tech transfer metrics for FY 2023. 

The University’s technology transfer work has been recognized for its excellence in national and global rankings, including:

  • UMN is in the top 10 for three key tech transfer metrics: deals, disclosures and startups, and among the top 20 public universities for License Income and New Patent Applications. AUTM 2021 Survey
  • 18th globally for universities granted US Utility Patents and 4th among Big Ten public institutions; National Academy of Inventors Top 100, 2022
  • First for technology transfer within the 20-state heartland region, and fifth among all US public universities; Heartland Forward 2022
  • The University has  spun out more than 230 startups since the formation of the Venture Center within UMN Technology Commercialization in 2006.
  • The University’s MPact 2025 plan has set a goal of spinning out 25 startups annually by 2025, and the University is on a path to meet that goal.