UMN Research Statistics
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) tracks key research metrics for the University of Minnesota, including national rankings, proposals and awards, sponsored expenditures, and technology commercialization performance measures.
On September 15, 2021, the University announced that it had successfully competed for $1.15 billion in external research funding in fiscal year 2021, a 31 percent jump that pushed it well past the $1 billion award mark for the first time in the University’s history. The record research awards total was fueled in part by $256 million in COVID-19-related projects.
- See the press release: University of Minnesota External Research Awards Surge 31%, Led by COVID-Related Grants
- See more tech transfer statistics on the Technology Commercialization website
- Faculty and staff seeking detailed data, including college level statistics from previous years, can access the OVPR Research Reporting Center.
Interim Vice President Oakes is scheduled to present a more detailed analysis of the University’s fiscal 2021 research and technology transfer work to the Board of Regents at its December 2021 meeting, which will include several national research-centric rankings. Watch the previous presentation from December 2020.
The $1.15 billion research award total in FY 2021 was a record for the University. The data also showed the University maintained robust growth in many areas across the research enterprise.
Awards by Source: All Campuses, FY21
Dollar amounts in millions
Federal awards remained the largest source of awards. Among all federal agencies, National Institutes of Health (NIH) ($355.3 million) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) ($82.5 million) awarded the most support. Agencies in the Federal: Other category include agriculture ($45.7M), defense ($38.0M), other health and human services ($26.9M), energy ($21.0M), and education ($13.6M).
External awards increased across business and industry, federal, and other private sources categories, growing by $174.0 million (213.3 percent), $68.1 million (12.7 percent), and $35.2 million (24.0 percent), respectively, over the previous year.
The University’s School of Public Health (SPH) and Medical School saw significant increases, with awards growing by $201.9 million (306.6 percent) and $51.9 million (18.6 percent), respectively. SPH’s portfolio was buoyed significantly by $189.8 million in awards for its Coordinating Centers for Biometric Research, which was able to quickly and nimbly meet the needs of agencies like the National Institutes of Health to test possible COVID-19 treatments in clinical trials across the nation and the globe.
External research funding to both the College of Science and Engineering and the College of Education and Human Development each increased by over $8 million.
Overall, many of the FY 2021 awards received carried large dollar amounts, with 44 percent of the total external funding comprising grants exceeding $1 million each.
Research expenditures, which include both external awards and institutional funding but lag in measurement by one year, rose slightly in fiscal 2020. Expenditures at the Twin Cities campus climbed 2.9 percent to $1.04 billion. That figure for all five University campuses combined grew 2.7 percent to $1.07 billion. Last year, the Twin Cities campus was ranked 10th among US public research universities based on its FY 2019 expenditures in the well-respected NSF HERD survey, which compares research expenditures at US colleges and universities.
R&D Expenditures: Twin Cities Campus FY16-FY20
Dollar amounts in millions
National Science Foundation's HERD Survey
*Ranking among US public research institutions. The University was ranked 10th in the FY2019 HERD Survey.
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.
In fiscal year 2021, the University signed 236 new licensing deals and ended the year with 575 current revenue-generating agreements.
Some of those new licenses were with startup companies. Technology Commercialization’s Venture Center launched a record 20 startup companies over the year, with 14 of them based in Minnesota.
Also during fiscal 2021, the University was issued 181 patents from US and foreign patent offices. Researchers set the foundation for future commercialization success by making 332 invention disclosures to Technology Commercialization.
Technology Commercialization Statistics, FY17-FY21
Dollar amounts in millions
Technology Commercialization, Wellspring Sophia; UMN Enterprise Financial System
The University’s technology transfer work has been recognized for its excellence in several national and global rankings, including: Reuters (22nd globally in their 2019 World's Most Innovative Universities ranking and 2nd among Big Ten public institutions); the George W Bush Institute (UMN was ranked 8th in the US for "innovation impact" and 2nd among Big Ten Public Institutions); and the National Academy of Inventors (UMN was ranked 17th in the world for Universities Granted US Utility Patents and 4th among Big Ten public institutions).
The University’s shift to COVID-19-related research also impacted its technology commercialization work, with key products included on a webpage listing more than a dozen University inventions.
Learn more about UMN Technology Commercialization statistics and rankings.