The University of Florida announced this week it had surpassed $1 billion in annual research expenditures, making history for the school.
The university announced Tuesday that it joined “an exclusive group of about 15 public universities around the country” that had spent over $1 billion on research, a group that includes the University of California, Los Angles; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan.
In total, universities in Florida spent about $2.3 billion in research.
The data comes from an annual survey from the National Science Foundation. It follows a year in which UF both broke into the ranks of top 5 public universities by U.S. News & World Report, and was mired in controversy when faculty raised concerns about academic freedom and a federal lawsuit sought to halt policies prohibiting scholars from testifying against the state. The university also faced allegations that employees were pressured by state officials to suppress data and research related to COVID-19, but an internal investigation found “no merit” to the allegations.
The spending comes largely from UF Health on research for cancer, diabetes, neurological diseases, gene therapy and other topics. The College of Medicine’s Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses spent $347 million, the College of Public Health and Health Professions spent $34.5 million, the College of Veterinary Medicine spent $32.1 million, the College of Pharmacy spent $31.4 million, the College of Dentistry spent $17.2 million and the College of Nursing with $5 million, according to the news release.
UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences spent $278 million in research, studying the state’s agricultural industry, climate and conservation and emerging pathogens.
The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering spent $131.8 million studying artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, addressing sea level rise and hurricane damage and road safety.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences spent $57.9 million on studying gravitational waves and black holes, the impact of climate change and projects like the Mars Perseverance Rover.
“Surpassing the $1 billion research milestone reflects UF’s continued rise as one of the leading research universities in the United States,” David Norton, vice president for research, said in the release. “But this number represents far more than dollars — it represents the value of these researchers’ remarkable intellect and talent and its impact on our state, our nation and the world.”