With over $1 billion in research spending, Pitt climbs in rankings

January 19, 2024

Every fiscal year, the Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey collects data on research and development (R&D) spending at U.S. colleges and universities that have expended at least $150,000 in separately accounted for R&D*. The survey is conducted by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), within the National Science Foundation (NSF). The latest release of the HERD survey corresponds to research spending during the 2022 academic fiscal year.  

Data resulting from the HERD survey provides reliable information to measure and assess our research performance vis-à-vis our peers. In the latest release, Pitt has climbed two spots in the overall R&D ranking thanks to a 10.3% increase in research expenditures from the previous fiscal year, as reported in the survey. Pitt now sits at #16 (out of 900 institutions) and is part of a prestigious cohort that includes universities such as Johns Hopkins, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, Duke, Stanford, Harvard, and Cornell, to name a few. 

Pitt ranks #12 in expenditures from federal sources and #27 in expenditures from non-federal sources. Within the Federal realm, Pitt ranks #5 in spending from the Department of Health and Human Services funding and #23 in spending from the Department of Defense funding.  

Looking at specific research areas, Pitt ranks in the Top 10 in three life sciences categories: life sciences, all (#7); life sciences biological and biomedical sciences (#10), and life sciences, health sciences (#9).

*Separately accounted for R&D refers to spending that is tracked in separate R&D accounts. This spending cannot be part of general expenditure accounts that include teaching salaries, other direct costs, etc.