National Science Foundation Rankings Show Research Is Flourishing at Mason

Posted: April 9, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

According to the National Science Foundation’s most recent annual report ranking colleges and universities across the nation in research expenditures, Mason is now fourth among Virginia schools and ranked 159th in the country for total research and development expenditures. The NSF report is for the 2007 fiscal year.

When compared to all universities and colleges without a medical school, Mason moved to 62nd place, up from 70th place in fiscal year 2006.

Mason is also the top recipient nationally of research grants for public policy, public administration, public affairs and political science. The NSF’s Division of Science Resources and Statistics found that Mason had $17 million in research and development expenditures in that discipline, making it number one for the first time. Federal grants totaled more than $15 million, also the most of any university.

“Building on the research of our faculty remains an important priority at Mason,” says President Alan Merten.

“The work of our many scholars allows us to make valuable contributions to our region and nation as well as broadens the educational opportunities of our students. These rankings from the National Science Foundation reinforce that effort and speak to our own evolution as we seek to join the ranks of outstanding research institutions.”

A number of research fields at Mason had the distinction of being ranked among the top 100 universities in the country in terms of research expenditures. They are the areas of computer science, which was ranked 54th in the country; environmental sciences, which was ranked at 73rd for all funding and 50th for federal funding; mathematical sciences, which achieved 47th place; and psychology, which ranked 93rd.

Mason also made an impressive showing when ranked by the source of funding. The university was ranked 37th among universities receiving funding from NASA and 59th among universities receiving U.S. Department of Defense funding.

“The new rankings by the National Science Foundation are a great source of pride for all of us,” says Roger Stough, vice president for research and economic development at Mason.

He adds that it is the work of the faculty and deans across the various programs that is the basis for “this impressive accomplishment.”

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