University of Michigan: A National and International Leader in Research and Scholarship
Excellence in research is a crucial element in the University’s high ranking among educational institutions. National surveys consistently rank the University’s professional schools among the top 10, reflecting a research record of important publications and other contributions to the advancement of scholarship. As the home of one of the largest research portfolio’s in the United States and the world, questions often arise regarding the scope and nature of the research and scholarship conducted by U-M faculty. Link here to Quick Facts about U-M research.
While most people know that the U-M conducts research in the medicine, engineering, and the natural and social sciences, it is less well known the extent of international activity that involves U-M faculty and students. The International Institute serves as a hub for region-specific centers and projects based around the world. The Center for Global Health promotes innovative and interdisciplinary health research and action with worldwide impacts. And the Fogarty International Research Training Program in Substance Abuse brings research fellows to the U-M campus for a year of study followed by research conducted in their home countries.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about U-M research activities:How much U-M research is sponsored and paid for by the federal government?
In FY 2010, U-M research expenditures totaled $1,139,493,986, and 65.9 percent of the expenditures were sponsored by the federal government. The major sources of $750,937,273 spent on research supported federal agencies are as follows: National Institutes of Health, $507,485,540 (44.3 percent of total research expenditures); National Science Foundation, $67,331,716 (5.9 percent); Department of Defense, $65,970,563 (5.8 percent); Department of Energy, $27,145,008 (2.4 percent); National Aeronautical and Space Administration, $16,566,350 (1.4 percent); Department of Transportation, $10,412,115 (0.9 percent); and Department of Commerce, $9,489,189 (0.8 percent).What other sources fund U-M research?
Non-federal sponsors in FY 2010 provided $106,762,901 (9.4 percent of total research expenditures). Non-federal sponsor groups include direct grants and contracts from industry, $39,269,613 (3.4 percent); foundations, $24,881,157 2.2 percent); and the State of Michigan, counties and cities, $3,792,924 (0.3 percent).
In FY 2010, the U-M spent $281,793,811, (24.7 percent) of internally budgeted funds for research and scholarship.Does U-M research ever lead to patents? Do companies ever license U-M discoveries? Are new companies ever launched by U-M faculty or students?
The short answer to all of these questions is yes. The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is involved in all disclosures of discoveries, patenting and licensing of inventions, and the formation of start-up companies. In FY 2010 OTT processed 290 invention reports, filed 153 patent applications, signed 97 licensing agreements and assisted with the launch of 10 start-ups.
Do foreign governments fund U-M research? Do other international organizations fund U-M research?at does the term “classified” mean when talking about U.S. government-sponsored research?
Yes. Foreign national governments sponsored $247,479 (less than 0.1 percent of the total) in research expenditures in FY 2010. The largest recent grants came from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the German Science Ministry. International organizations funded $245,780 (less than 0.1 percent) in U-M research expenditures in FY 2010. The Commission of European Communities, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, Human Frontier Science Program Organization and the Inter-American Development Bank awarded the largest grants.
What is U-M’s policy regarding the presentation and publication of research conducted by faculty, staff and students?
U-M faculty disseminate research findings as widely as possible to stimulate scientific inquiry and progress for the good of society. The University has a long-standing policy that researchers regularly present or publish their findings in journals and online. The rigorous review process required to present and publish is one reason U-M scholars enjoy an international reputation for conducting high-quality research. In addition, the University complies with all federal requirements for posting research results.
The U-M also produces numerous publications in print and digital format to describe research and scholarship conducted at the University. A list of these outlets is posted online.What does the term “classified” mean when talking about U.S. government-sponsored research?
"Classified” means information or material (regardless of form) that is owned by, produced by or for, or under control of the U.S. government that requires protection under Executive Order 12958 “Classified National Security Information” for purposes of national defense or foreign relations. Classified information is marked and identified as such. Classified information or material may only be released pursuant to a government contract to a person with a valid security clearance and a need to know. Unauthorized disclosure of this information could cause harm to the national defense of the United States or its foreign relations.What is U-M’s policy regarding the presentation and publication of research conducted by faculty, staff and students?
As one of the nation’s largest research universities, U-M disseminates research findings as widely as possible to stimulate scientific inquiry and progress for the good of society. The University has a long-standing policy that researchers regularly present or publish their findings in journals and online. The rigorous review process required to present and publish is one reason U-M scholars enjoy an international reputation for conducting high-quality research.How much U-M research is classified?
None currently. In fact, the University has not reviewed any requests to conduct classified research since FY 2003.What is the University’s policy regarding classified research?
In April 1987, the Board of Regents approved the Policy on Openness in Research Grants, Contracts, and Agreements and repealed previous policies on classified research enacted in March 1972 and October 1976. As part of the policy, the vice president for research provides an annual report to the Board of Regents identifying the number of contracts with non-standard restrictions and classified research contracts. The full text of the Policy on Openness in Research Grants, Contracts, and Agreements is posted online.
What is U-M’s attitude toward visitors, students and scholars from other countries?
International cultural awareness is critical to a world-class education. Our students must be prepared to function in a global economy. Many U.S. firms have foreign operations; our graduates must be able to operate successfully here and around the world.
The University welcomes guests from all over the world. They contribute to our campus’s rich diversity, a key component of an exceptional education. They also bring with them valuable knowledge and experience, which help improve our teaching and research. These contacts often lead to cooperative ventures, including student exchanges.
Our faculty, staff and students also benefit from working with scholars in other countries, and U-M students are encouraged to work or study abroad. For example, the College of Engineering has set a goal that 50 percent of its undergraduates work or study abroad before they graduate.
What is the process for admitting visiting scholars to the U-M research community?
A visiting scholar must be hosted by a U-M faculty member. Visiting scholars work at U-M for a short period of time and are compensated by the University. Host faculty members help arrange housing and orient visiting scholars and their families to the community. A number of U-M faculty members were once visiting scholars. The University also welcomes visitors for brief visits. Unlike visiting scholars, they do not have work-related obligations.
How many U-M students are foreign nationals?
U-M’s foreign student enrollment was 5,312 or 12.7 percent of the total enrollment of 41,924 in fall 2010, according to the Office of Budget and Planning. The largest populations of foreign students were from the People’s Republic of China (1,452), Republic of Korea (South) (728), India (705), Taiwan (308), and Canada (238), with 1,881 coming from other countries. This pattern is consistent with other major universities in the United States.How do foreign nationals contribute to the nation’s economy?
Foreign national students and researchers who remain in the United States and become permanent residents and citizens fuel innovation and generate economic activity. Historically, the ingenuity and intelligence of immigrants and an abundance of natural resources have driven growth in the United States. The areas of the country that attract international students in large numbers also are the among the nation’s most entrepreneurial regions.
For more information about the U-M’s research program, contact Marvin Parnes, associate vice president for research and executive director, Division of Research Development and Administration, at 734-764-7230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated January 25, 2011