National Science Foundation Names Texas A&M Member of Top 20 Research Performers
exas A&M University excels in many areas, including outstanding student programs, national champion sports teams, and great engineering and business programs. The University also excels in academic research, as proven by the National Science Foundation’s ranking on the Top 20 Academic Research Performers in the U.S. The foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare and to secure the national defense.” The federal government is the largest source of university research and development funding in science and engineering, and the foundation is no exception with an annual budget of about $6.06 billion, funding about 20 percent of all federally supported research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. Each year, the National Science Foundation surveys 690 U.S. institutions and ranks them according to research and development expenditures in science and engineering. Texas A&M University replaced Washington University in St. Louis at the number 20 spot in fiscal year 2008 with expenditures totaling $582 million. Our school’s rank is joined by other prestigious institutions such as John Hopkins University, Duke University, Stanford University, MIT and University of California at Berkeley but is the only Texas institution to rank in the Top 20 for 2009. According to Dr. Jeffrey R. Seemann, vice president for research at Texas A&M, “it means that we have some of the best faculty in the world (nearly 3,000 of them) doing research that is vitally important in a whole variety of arenas. Our environmental sciences program has shown enormous leaps and bounds, and engineering of course--we have one of the most spectacular sets of engineering programs in the country, in addition to our social sciences, agriculture, geo sciences and architecture arenas. We really have a lot to be proud of here.” “By joining the NSF Top 20, Texas A&M takes a significant step toward its goal of ranking among the top 10 research universities in the United States,” Seemann said. “For Texas A&M to continue moving up on the list we can’t let off on all of the important things that we are doing. Texas is doing a lot investing in higher education, so we must continue to hire great faculty and give them the resources that they need to do cutting-edge research. We need to find new ways to bring everyone together around big concerns and issues, to attract those next big expenditures. And we need to continue to invest in this University in order to advance ourselves in this competitive environment.” In addition, the University has opened the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, a $100 million facility that will enable researchers to make what could be world-changing discoveries. With more than 30 lab facilities, the new building located next to Simpson Drill Field will be available to world-class scientists who are striving to make a difference through research.