Academics and Research

Research is foundational for our future. We are committed to enabling excellence by investing in targeted initiatives and funding strategies.

We have tripled our research funding over the last 20 years, and in fiscal year 2013 received an astonishing $1.238 billion in sponsored research funds.

From 1974 – 2009 the UW received more federal research funding than any other U.S. public university, and since 2009 has been in the top two.

Since 1969 we have placed among the top five for total funding for all public and private universities in the country.

Rankings by the Institute of Higher Education at China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University place the UW at 16 among the world’s top universities (a ranking held since 2007), and 14 nationally.

The Higher Education Evaluation & Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEACT) ranked the UW fourth overall and first in public universities worldwide for the quality and impact of research endeavors.

We are investing in the future of the UW and our world.

Research Funding

  • $1,237,783,075 total sponsored grants and contracts
  • $980,516,741 federal funding
  • $257,266,334 non-federal funding
  • 5,029 grants, including 200 grants over $1M

Economic and Educational Impact

  • In FY13, UW launched 17 start-up companies based on UW research advances, bringing the ten-year total to 93 technology start-ups from UW.
  • UW technology generated over $52M in licensing revenue.
  • According to the most recent data (FY12), compared to other US universities, UW was first in number of technologies licensed (357), first in number of commercialization agreements executed (204), and second in number of total active licenses (1271).
  • In academic year 2011-12, 7,040 undergraduates participated in research with UW faculty for a total of 11,239 student-quarters of research (one student researching for one quarter = 1 student-quarter), and 1,293,496 hours devoted to undergraduate research.
  • In academic year 2011-12, 5,909 undergraduates participated in university sponsored public service, including service learning, public service internships and volunteer work, for a total of 8,185 student-quarters of public service, and a total of 556,335 hours devoted by students to public service.
  • Grant and Contracts supported 7,088 full-time equivalent employees at the UW during FY2013. Based on economic multipliers provided by the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board, UW research funding generated about 31,187 jobs statewide.

UW Faculty Honors

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences: 85 members
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science: 167 Fellows
  • Institute of Medicine: 60 members
  • National Academy of Engineering: 29 members
  • Gairdner International Awards: 10 recipients
  • Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards: 5 recipients
  • National Medal of Science: 5 recipients
  • MacArthur Fellows: 15 recipients
  • National Academy of Public Administration: 2 recipients
  • National Academy of Sciences: 76 members
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom: 1 member

UW Faculty Nobel Prizes

Six UW faculty members have won Nobel Prizes since 1989. Since 1990, five have won Nobel Prizes in medicine, more than any other institution during that time period.

  • Hans Dehmelt, Professor Emeritus in Physics, 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics for research on immobilizing single subatomic particles
  • E. Donnall Thomas, Professor Emeritus in Medicine, 1990 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on bone marrow transplantation, done primarily at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Edwin Krebs and Edmond Fischer, Professors Emeriti in Biochemistry and Pharmacology, 1992 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of reversible protein phosphorylation
  • Leland Hartwell, Professor of Genome Sciences and Adjunct Professor of Medicine, 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle
  • Linda Buck, Professor of Microbiology and Psychology, Affiliate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system

Major Recent Grants

  • $12 million from the US Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children and Families to support the National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL), a multi-component national effort to reshape and raise quality in Head Start programs. The third year funding of a five-year, $40 million grant enables UW researchers to turn current research into relevant, usable classroom practices and training materials. PI: Susan Standall; Co-PI: Gail Joseph
  • $1.95 million from the NSF/NIH/USDA to look at infectious disease in Pacific salmon. PI: Kerry-Ann Naish
  • $1.9 million ($9.6 million over five years) from the NASA Astrobiology Institute for development of a theoretical framework to inform the search for habitable planets and life beyond our Solar System: PI: Victoria S. Meadows
  • $1.85 million from the National Science Foundation for the development of sustainable chemistries and solution-processing methods that yield high-efficiency low-cost solar cells from Earth abundant resources. PI: Hugh W. Hillhouse
  • $1.13 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for development of a self-service community impact assessment patron survey and advocacy tools for public access technology products and services offered by public libraries across the United States. PI: Mike Crandall

Research Centers

There are over 282 specialized research centers at the UW. There are over 20 National Institutes of Health Research Cores and Centers of Excellence, including the Institute for Translational Health Sciences, one of 60 NIH funded national Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards (CTSA). Leading centers include:

  • Center for Integrative Neuroscience
  • Center on Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research
  • West Coast Poverty Center
  • Center for Advanced Materials in Transport Aircraft Structures (AMTAS)
  • Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute
  • Polar Science Center
  • Center for Information Assurance & Cybersecurity
  • Center for Law in Science and Global Health
  • Center for AIDS Research (CFAR)
  • Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM)
  • Center for Intracellular Delivery of Biologics (CIDB)
  • Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)
  • Indigenous Wellness Research Institute
  • Comparative Law and Societies Studies Center
  • Pacific Northwest Center for Construction Research and Education
  • Cleary Community for 21st Century Youth Literacy
  • Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Pacific Northwest Udall Parkinson’s Disease Center (PANUC)
  • Centers for Comparative and Health Systems Effectiveness
  • Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN)
  • UW Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children
  • Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences
  • Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC)
  • Institute for Nuclear Theory (INT)
  • Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics (CENPA)
  • Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystems Study Center
  • UW Clinical Trial Center
  • Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center
  • Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence

Sources of UW Research Awards

  • Department of Agriculture — $7,513,460
  • Department of Commerce — $18,630,077
  • Department of Defense — $70,807,934
  • Department of Education — $24,246,496
  • Department of Energy — $22,669,747
  • Department of Health and Human Services — $593,768,195
  • Department of the Interior — $7,602,132
  • Department of Transportation — $5,453,064
  • Department of Veterans Affairs — $5,666,433
  • Environmental Protection Agency — $4,560,411
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration — $16,374,826
  • National Science Foundation — $144,194,613
  • Other Federal — $7,896,482
  • Associations and Non-Profits — $40,204,158
  • Foundations — $74,319,533
  • Industry — $58,350,814
  • Local Government — $2,204,824
  • Other Government — $5,949,824
  • State of Washington — $10,726,102
  • U.S. Institutes of Higher Learning — $1,750,114
  • Student Financial Aid — $114,893,835
  • Total Grant and Contract Awards: $1,237,783,075

Research Awards by Schools and Colleges

  • Arts & Sciences: $82,124,155
  • Built Environments: $1,612,623
  • Dentistry: $5,091,644
  • Education: $22,256,648
  • Engineering: $95,069,057
  • Environment: $105,291,297
  • Evans School of Public Affairs: $4,484,434
  • Foster School of Business: $997,097
  • Graduate School: $10,228,147
  • Health Science Administration: $18,436,366
  • Information School: $6,117,489
  • Law: $420,478
  • Medicine: $530,122,256
  • Nursing: $8,367,004
  • Office of Research: $62,425,635
  • Office of the Provost: $100,000
  • Other Special Programs: $125,352,151
  • Pharmacy: $14,823,864
  • Public Health: $108,090,772
  • Social Work: $23,031,615
  • UW Bothell & UW Tacoma: $12,989,708

SOURCE: UW ANNUAL REPORT OF AWARDS AND EXPENDITURES, FY 2013

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