In fiscal 2002, the picture for academic research and development continued to brighten. Total academic R&D spending expanded 10.9% to reach $36.3 billion in that year, the latest for which figures are available from the National Science Foundation. That healthy growth spurt surpasses the previous year's 9.0% rise, as well as the 6.8% annual average for the previous decade.
The numbers look strong even when inflation is taken into account. On a constant-dollar basis, total academic R&D spending rose 9.0% between 2001 and 2002. Chemistry topped that performance by expanding 9.9% from 2001 to 2002 in constant dollars.
Between 1992 and 2002, total academic R&D spending rose a total of 60.2% in constant dollars compared with 93.1% in current dollars. Chemistry spending fared nowhere near as well, however, expanding just 32.9% in constant dollars and 60.1% in current dollars.
The federal government provides the lion's share of the funds used in academe for R&D. In 2002, the federal portion of these funds grew to 60.1% of the total. Institutional funds accounted for a further 19.6%, followed by state and local government at 6.9% and industry at 6.0%.
Academe remains a bastion for basic research. Nearly three-quarters of R&D spending in 2002 went to basic as opposed to applied research, continuing an expansion in share that has been under way since 1994.
Life sciences accounted for 58.9% of science and engineering R&D spending in 2002. The $21.4 billion that poured into the field represented an 11.4% increase over the prior year. Investment in the chemical sector--which accounted for just 3.1% of the science and engineering total--did even better, expanding 11.9% to $1.13 billion. Funding for chemical engineering R&D in academe rose 3.9% to $430 million.
The University of California, San Francisco, topped the chart of schools spending the most on chemical R&D. It nearly doubled its investment, to $27.3 million, in 2002. Likewise, the University of Texas, Austin, almost doubled its chemical R&D spending, to $22.8 million. The University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, rounded out the top four, spending $21.8 million and $21.0 million, respectively.
ALL TOLD, federal support for chemical R&D totaled $737 million in 2002, an impressive 11.5% rise over the prior year. The federal government poured $147 million into chemical R&D support at the top 10 institutions in 2002, led by its $20.9 million investment at UC San Francisco. Massachusetts Institute of Technology received $16.4 million, while UC Berkeley was given $15.9 million.
Federal support for chemical engineering R&D continued its expansion in 2002, growing 6.5% to $229 million. Schools spending the most on chemical engineering R&D in 2002 included North Carolina State University, which spent $18.9 million; MIT, $15.1 million; and Pennsylvania State University, $14.1 million.
Federal funding for chemical research equipment waxes and wanes dramatically over time. Support jumped 29.2% to $74.8 million in 2002 after shrinking 8.5% the previous year. Stanford University and Florida State University garnered the largest shares, receiving $2.3 million and $2.2 million, respectively, in 2002.
Florida State topped spending on chemical research equipment that year, with an output of $4.5 million, followed by Indiana University, which spent $3.4 million. In all, the federal government provided nearly two-thirds of the $120 million that schools spent on such equipment in 2002.
In 2002, the number of students seeking graduate degrees in chemistry rose 3.7% from the number in 2001, to 19,046, the highest level since 1996. In chemical engineering, 7,414 students sought graduate degrees in 2002, an increase of 7.2% over 2001.
Postdoctoral appointments in chemistry inched up 2.3% to 3,950 in 2002, while chemical engineering appointments gained 28.2% to 737.
Data presented here were drawn primarily from NSF's WebCASPAR database of academic science and engineering statistics, which can be found at http://caspar.nsf.gov. Further statistical information came from sources such as the annual Academic Research & Development Expenditures report, managed by Mary M. (Marge) Machen of NSF's Division of Science Resources Statistics. That report and other data can be viewed at http://www.
Note that numbers from different tables may not match because of rounding.