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USF jumps in national research rankings


USF has moved up 10 spots in the National Science Foundation’s national ranking of public and private research institutions since last year, once again ranking among the top 50 schools.

After dipping to No. 53 last year, USF moved back up the list, now ranking No. 43 in the nation overall.

The university also reached a new record of securing research grants totaling $413.6 million this year, according to a press release.

Total research expenditures, an indicator of how much research a university is actually doing, increased from $394.9 million to $443.2 million.

Paul R. Sanberg, USF senior vice president for research and innovation, said the research the university does every day isn’t all about rankings and money.

“What I’d love to see is that we have the ability for our faculty, staff and students to be as creative as possible and to make very important discoveries in the economy and in partnerships in the Tampa Bay area and around the world,” he said in an interview with the Tampa Tribune.

When USF President Judy Genshaft recently submitted her annual self-evaluation to the Board of Trustees, she lamented the university’s drop in ranking to No. 53 last year, which she said was due largely to the increase in institutions participating in rankings, but said she was proud of faculty and students for succeeding, even in the face of government sequestration of research funding.

According to the NSF, public and private university spending on research and development in all fields totaled $65.8 billion in the 2012 fiscal year, a 1.1 percent drop from the previous year.


— Staff report