Facts & Figures
Research expenditures – that is, the funds spent to conduct research – are the most frequently cited numbers for comparing research levels among colleges and universities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) surveys all recipients of federal funds annually, asking about their research expenditures from all funding sources. MSU has participated in that survey since 1998. The NSF numbers constitute the most comprehensive listing of research expenditures and provide consistency for comparison with other institutions.
The Michigan State University research enterprise has experienced significant growth over the past decade as exhibited in the total research and development expenditures chart.
MSU's total research expenditures were $715 million.
Federally funded research expenditures were $328 million in 2018.
Top federal funding agencies: Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, and the Department of Education.
MSU ranks first nationally in Department of Energy, and second nationally in combined Department of Energy and National Science Foundation, expenditures.
Source: NSF HERD 2018 data.
Funding for externally sponsored programs comes primarily from federal agencies, state agencies, industry, associations, and foundations. Competitive internal grants programs and Facilities and Administrative (F&A) cost return also support research. Funds for conducting research are generally awarded in multi-year contracts or grants, therefore the amount recorded as received each year may not reflect the research being done in that year.
For additional facts and figures about the MSU research enterprise, or statistics about the university, please review the Data Digest or Planning Profile Summary, produced by the the Office of Planning and Budgets.