University inches into top 100 research institutions in national ranking

University President Steven Knapp and Board of Trustees Chairman Russell Ramsey broke ground on the Science and Engineering Hall in October – a project expected to ramp up GW's research reputation. Hatchet File Photo.

Updated April 8, 7:50 p.m.

The University broke into the top 100 colleges for research and development spending in fiscal year 2010, according to data released by the National Science Foundation today.

GW’s research funding across external and internal sources, ranging from the federal government to nonprofit organizations, reached a total of $196,917,000 in 2010 – the highest point since 2002 – to bring its rank in the NSF’s list to No. 99. The 34-spot climb over the year before brings the University closer to its goal of becoming a top 80 research institution by 2015.

University President Steven Knapp has looked to build up the University’s research portfolio since he arrived from Johns Hopkins University in 2007. In the last few years, GW has expanded its research leadership, focused on hiring research faculty and put more money toward undergraduate research programs.

The amount of internal funds GW devoted to research doubled from fiscal year 2010 to 2011 to ring in at $2.1 million. Most of that money went toward medical research.

As the University plays catch-up with its market basket institutions, Vice President for Research Leo Chalupa called the spike in the NSF’s ranking “another clear indication that GW is well on its way to realizing President Knapp’s plan of becoming one of the nation’s top research universities.”

Chalupa predicted that GW’s research spending will steadily grow as the four-year construction of the $275-million Science and Engineering Hall – which will include 480,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities – nears completion.

Universities nationwide reported spending 6.9 percent more money on research and development in all fields between fiscal year 2009 and 2010, according to NSF data.

The NSF’s annual list of research and development expenditures represented more than 700 universities across the U.S. This year’s full report, which employed a new survey design intended to produce more consistent data, has not yet been released to the public, but a preliminary report was published in late March.

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