Scientific and Engineering Research Facilities at Colleges and Universities: 1998

Chapter 9
Biomedical Research Facilities


Highlights top

Introduction top

Biomedical research facilities are a critical component of the Nation’s science and engineering research system. Consequently, NSF and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have collected data on the amount, quality, and condition of research space in the biological and medical sciences in the Nation’s biomedical research-performing institutions since the inception of the Facilities survey in 1986. These research facilities are not only located at academic institutions, but also in research hospitals and nonprofit research organizations.

This chapter looks at the top 50 academic institutions in science and engineering research expenditures instead of the top 100. In addition, because of their importance in producing black biomedical researchers and physicians, the 29 original HBCUs are pulled out for separate analysis.

Colleges and universities with an affiliated medical school are counted as both a college or university and as a medical school in all tables reporting the number of institutions. Their biological and medical science research space existing, needed, constructed, deferred, and repaired/renovated and the associated expenditures are divided between the college or university and the medical school categories depending on whether the research space or capital project was designated as inside or outside a medical school. That is, while the institution is counted twice, its research space and associated costs are not.

Several tables present the survey results for the biological and medical sciences separately. The “biological sciences” includes all institutions with research space inside or outside of medical schools. Similarly, “medical sciences” includes all institutions with research space inside or outside of medical schools.

Findings top

Amount of Biomedical Research Space top

In 1998, the Nation’s 908 biomedical research-performing institutions had 73.3 million net assignable square feet of biomedical research space. This is 9 percent or 5.9 million NASF more than they had in 1996 and 41 percent or 21.4 million NASF more than they had a decade ago (table 9-1):

Table 9-1. Amount of biomedical research space by insitution type and field: 1988-98
Table 9-1 (Spreadsheet format)

More than three quarters of all the biomedical research space (77 percent or 56.2 million NASF) was located in academic institutions. Slightly more than half of this space (29.8 million NASF) was located in medical schools, with the remaining 26.4 million NASF located in research-performing colleges and universities. Nonprofit research organizations accounted for 13 percent (9.5 million NASF) of all biomedical research space, while research hospitals accounted for 10 percent (7.6 million NASF).

Between 1988 and 1998, every type of institution, except research hospitals, experienced an appreciable increase in biomedical research space:

Adequacy of the Amount of Biomedical Research Space and Its Condition top

Overall, 65 percent of institutions with research space in the biological sciences and 52 percent of institutions with research space in the medical sciences reported that the amount of biomedical research space they had was inadequate to meet their current research commitments:


Table 9-2. Amount of biomedical research space by insitution type and field: 1988-98
Table 9-2 (Spreadsheet format)

The percentage of institutions with biomedical research space reporting inadequate amounts of research space in the biological sciences increased between 1996 and 1998 from 47 to 65 percent of institutions. During this time period, the percentage of institutions reporting inadequate amounts of research space in the biological sciences increased at three types of institutions: colleges and universities, medical schools, and nonprofit research organizations. By contrast, the percentage of institutions reporting inadequate amounts of research space in the medical sciences remained essentially the same between 1996 (51 percent) and 1998 (52 percent).

Overall, the institutions reported that they needed an additional 9.0 million NASF of research space in the biological sciences or 23 percent more than they had in order to meet their research commitments. At the same time, they reported that they needed an additional 7.1 million NASF of research space in the medical sciences or 21 percent more than they had:

Less than half (48 percent or 18.7 million NASF) of research space in the biological sciences was rated as “suitable for the most scientifically competitive research,” and less than half (43 percent or 14.8 million NASF) of research space in the medical sciences was rated this way. The percentage of the different types of institutions rating their research space as being in the highest quality condition is as follows (see table E9-1 for total NASF by field by institution type):

Construction of Biomedical Research Space top

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, 172 biomedical research-performing institutions started construction on 7.4 million NASF of research space. During this time period, 116 institutions started construction on 3.5 million NASF of research space in the biological sciences, while 81 institutions started construction on 3.9 million NASF of research space in the medical sciences (table 9-3). Construction projects were started at the different types of biomedical research-performing institutions as follows:


Table 9-3. Trends in the number of instituions starting biomedical research space construction projects costing more than $100,000, the amount of space constructed, and the cost of construction, by institution type, filed, and year of project start: 1988-98
Table 9-3 (Spreadsheet format)

Between 1994–95 and 1996–97, the amount of biomedical research space under construction increased by 74 percent or 3.1 million NASF (from 4.3 million to 7.4 million NASF). During this time period, the medical sciences experienced an appreciable increase of 76 percent (1.7 million NASF) of research space under construction (from 2.2 million to 3.9 million NASF). Among the different institution types, colleges and universities and medical schools experienced a substantial increase in biomedical research space under construction:

In fiscal years 1998 and 1999, 203 biomedical research-performing institutions were scheduled to start construction on 10.7 million NASF of biomedical research space. During this time period, 155 institutions were scheduled to start construction on 7.4 million NASF of research space in the biological sciences, while 80 institutions were scheduled to start construction on 3.3 million NASF of research space in the medical sciences.

Construction projects were scheduled to start at the different types of biomedical research-performing institutions as follows:

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, biomedical research-performing institutions committed $2.2 billion to new construction projects costing over $100,000, an increase of 40 percent or $634 million over 1994–95 levels. Slightly more than half of these funds (53 percent or $1.2 billion) were committed to construction projects in the medical sciences, the remaining 47 percent or $1.0 billion were committed to construction projects in the biological sciences.

Among the different institution types, only medical schools committed substantially more funds to new construction projects in 1996 and 1997 ($963 million) than they did in fiscal years 1994 and 1995 ($792 million). However, the amount of funds they committed to new construction projects in fiscal years 1996 and 1997 is not substantially different than the amount of funds they committed to these types of projects a decade ago ($945 million).

In fiscal years 1998 and 1999, biomedical research-performing institutions were scheduled to commit $3.2 billion to new construction projects costing over $100,000. This is an increase of 44 percent or $985 million over 1996–97 levels.

Among the different institution types, only colleges and universities are scheduled to commit substantially more funds to new construction projects in fiscal years 1998 and 1999 ($1.0 billion) than they did in fiscal years 1996 and 1997 ($663 million). This is an increase of 54 percent or $355 million.

Repair/Renovation of Biomedical Research Space top

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, 379 biomedical research-performing institutions started repair/renovation projects on 9.0 million NASF of biomedical research space (table 9-4). This represents 21 percent more space under repair/renovation than under construction (see table 9-3). During this time period, 282 institutions began repair/renovation projects on 5.5 million NASF of research space in the biological sciences, while 172 institutions began repair/renovation projects on 3.5 million NASF of research space in the medical sciences.

Table 9-4. Trends in the number of institutions starting biomedical research facilities repair/renovation projects costing more than $100,000, the amount of space affected, and the cost of repair/renovation, by institution type, field, and year of project start: 1988-98
Table 9-4 (Spreadsheet format)

Between 1994–95 and 1996–97, the amount of biomedical research space repaired or renovated increased by 26 percent or 1.8 million NASF (from 7.1 million to 9.0 million NASF). During this time period, the biological sciences experienced an appreciable increase of 94 percent (2.7 million NASF) of research space under repair/renovation. Among the different institution types, only colleges and universities experienced a substantial increase in the amount of new repair/renovation projects between 1994–95 and 1996–97. The amount of biomedical research space repaired or renovated at colleges and universities increased by 36 percent or 0.8 million NASF (from 2.4 million to 3.2 million NASF).

In fiscal years 1998 and 1999, 251 biomedical research-performing institutions were scheduled to begin repair/renovation projects on 7.7 million NASF of biomedical research space. During this time period, 174 institutions were scheduled to start repair/renovation projects on 4.5 million NASF of research space in the biological sciences, while 130 institutions were scheduled to start repair/renovation projects on 3.2 million NASF of research space in the medical sciences.

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, biomedical research-performing institutions committed $770 million to new repair/renovation projects costing over $100,000. This was 66 percent or $1.5 billion less than they committed to new construction projects in 1996 and 1997 (see table 9-3). Slightly more than half of these funds (54 percent or $415 million) were committed to repair/renovation projects in the biological sciences, while the remaining 46 percent or $355 million were committed to repair/renovation projects in the medical sciences.

Overall, the amount of funds scheduled to be committed to new repair/renovation projects in 1998 and 1999 was not substantially different from the amount of funds they committed to these types of projects in 1996 and 1997.

In fiscal years 1998 and 1999, biomedical research-performing institutions were scheduled to commit $831 million to new repair/renovation projects. This was 74 percent less than they were scheduled to commit to new construction projects (see table 9-3). Slightly more than half of these funds (51 percent or $424 million) were scheduled to be committed to repair/renovation projects in the biological sciences, the remaining 49 percent ($407 million) were scheduled to be committed to repair/renovation projects in the medical sciences.

Sources of Funds for the Construction of Research Facilities at Biomedical Research-Performing Institutions top

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, State and local governments and debt financing each provided 27 percent of funds for all new science and engineering construction projects costing over $100,000 at biomedical research-performing institutions.[37]  Institutional funds and private donations were the source for 19 and 18 percent, respectively, of funds for new construction projects, while the Federal Government contributed 8 percent of all construction funds (see table 9-5).

Table 9-5. Source of funds for the construction of research factilities at institutions with biomedical research space by year of project start and institution type: 1990-97
Table 9-5 (Spreadsheet format)

The largest source(s) of funds for new science and engineering construction projects at the different types of institutions was as follows:

Sources of Funds for the Repair/Renovation of Research Facilities at Biomedical Research-Performing Institutions top

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, institutional funds were the largest source of funds (50 percent) for new science and engineering repair/renovation projects costing over $100,000 at biomedical research-performing institutions.[38] State and local governments were the second largest source of funds (22 percent). Private donations and debt financing each accounted for 9 percent of funds for new repair/renovation projects, while the Federal Government contributed 8 percent of all repair/renovation funds (table 9-6).

Table 9-6. Source of funds for the repair/renovation of research facilities at institutions with biomedical research space by year of project start and institution type: 1990-97
Table 9-6 (Spreadsheet format)

The largest source(s) of funds for new science and engineering repair/renovation projects at the different types of institutions was as follows:

Biomedical Research-Performing Institutions' Need for Research Facilities top

In 1998, biomedical research-performing institutions reported $5.6 billion in combined capital projects (construction and repair renovation) that had to be deferred because of insufficient funds. Construction projects accounted for 64 percent ($3.6 billion) of the total deferred capital project costs (both included and not included in an institutional plan) (table 9-7).

Table 9-7. Estimated costs for deferred capital projects to consruct or repair/renovate biomedical research facilities by institution type, type of project, and whether project was included in an instutuional plan:  1998
Table 9-7 (Spreadsheet format)

Academic institutions accounted for 82 percent ($4.6 billion) of the total deferred costs, whereas nonprofit research organizations accounted for 10 percent ($587 million) and research hospitals account for 7 percent ($419 million).

More than half (61 percent or $2.8 billion) of the deferred costs in academic institutions was at colleges and universities, while the remaining 39 percent or $1.8 billion was at medical schools. Among colleges and universities, the deferred need was distributed as follows:

More than half of the total deferred capital project costs (56 percent or $3.1 billion) were for projects in the biological sciences, while the remaining 44 percent or $2.5 billion in deferred costs were for projects in the medical sciences. Construction projects (both included and not included in an institutional plan) accounted for 62 percent of the deferred costs in the biological sciences ($1.9 billion) and 67 percent of the deferred costs in the medical sciences ($1.7 billion).

Biomedical Research Facilities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities top

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities had 1.6 percent (2.34 million NASF) of all the science and engineering research space in the Nation’s research-performing institutions in 1998 (143.3 million NASF) and 1.2 percent (670 thousand NASF) of all the biomedical sciences research space (56.2 million NASF). Overall, 73 percent (490 thousand NASF) of the HBCUs’ biomedical sciences research space was in the biological sciences, the other 28 percent (190 thousand NASF) was in the medical sciences. The HBCUs’ biomedical sciences research space was distributed unequally across institution types. More than half of the HBCUs’ biomedical research space (60 percent or 400 thousand NASF) was located in colleges and universities, while the other 40 percent or 270 thousand NASF was located in medical schools (table 9-8).

Table 9-8. Amount, condition, adequacy, construction, and repair/renovation of biomedical research facilities at Historically Black Colleges and Universities(HBCUs)compared to all academic institutions:  1998
Table 9-8 (Spreadsheet format)

Overall, 71 percent of the HBCUs with existing or needed research space in the biomedical sciences reported that the amount of research space they had was inadequate to meet their current biomedical research commitments. Sixty-seven percent of all academic institutions reported inadequate amounts of biomedical research space.

With respect to the condition of their biomedical research space, the HBCUs rated 47 percent (315 thousand NASF) of their biomedical research space as “suitable for the most scientifically sophisticated research,” whereas 45 percent of the biomedical research space at all academic institutions was rated this way. By contrast, the HBCUs rated 8 percent (54 thousand NASF) of their biomedical research space as needing major repair/renovation or replacement, whereas 21 percent of the biomedical research space at all academic institutions was reported as being in this condition.

In fiscal years 1996 and 1997, 6 HBCUs began construction on 111 thousand NASF of biomedical research space at an expected completion cost of $31 million. In 1998 and 1999, 8 HBCUs were scheduled to begin construction on 139 thousand NASF of biomedical research space at an expected completion cost of $40 million.

Similarly, in fiscal years 1996 and 1997, 8 HBCUs began new repair/renovation projects on 93 thousand NASF of biomedical research space at an expected completion cost of $6.0 million. In 1998 and 1999, 6 HBCUs were scheduled to begin new repair/renovation projects on 223 thousand NASF of biomedical research space at an expected completion cost of $8.9 million.

Animal Research Facilities at Biomedical Research-Performing Institutions top

In 1998, 700 of the 908 biomedical research-performing institutions (77 percent) had animal laboratory facilities. While 85 percent of the academic institutions and 80 percent of the research hospitals had animal laboratory facilities, less than half (46 percent) of the nonprofit research organizations had such facilities (table 9-9).

Table 9-9. Amount, biosafety level, and scheduled construction and repair/renovation of animal research space at institutions with biomedical research space by institution type:  1998
Table 9-9 (Spreadsheet format)

The biomedical research-performing institutions reported a total of 14 million NASF of animal research space at biomedical research-performing institutions. Most of that space (83 percent or 12 million NASF) was located in the academic institutions. The nonprofit research organizations accounted for 12 percent of all the animal research space (1.7 million NASF), while the research-performing hospitals account for 5 percent (0.7 million NASF). The majority of animal research space (71 percent or 10 million NASF) was animal housing space, the remaining 29 percent (4 million NASF) was animal research space.

Institutions with animal research space reported that 69 percent (9.8 million NASF) of that space was at Federal biosafety Level 1 (i.e., acceptable for work with microorganisms not known to cause disease in healthy humans). Another 28 percent (4.0 million NASF) of that space was at Level 2 (i.e., acceptable for work with moderate-risk agents present in the community and associated with human disease of varying severity), and 4 percent (0.6 million NASF) was at Level 3 (i.e., acceptable for work with indigenous or exotic agents with a potential for respiratory transmission, and which may cause serious and potentially lethal infection). No biomedical research-performing institution had animal research space at Level 4 (i.e., acceptable for work with biological agents that may cause the transmission of a potentially lethal disease for which there is no readily available cure).

Overall, 88 biomedical research-performing institutions were scheduled to start construction on 1.2 million NASF of animal research facilities at an estimated cost of $462 million in 1998 and 1999. The scheduled construction projects across institution types were as follows:

Similarly, 69 biomedical research-performing institutions were scheduled to start repair/renovation projects on 350 thousand NASF of animal research space at an estimated cost of $69 million in 1998 and 1999. The scheduled repair/renovation projects across institutions types were as follows:



Footnotes

[37] Sources of funds were not reported by field. Consequently, the distribution of construction funds across the various sources is for the biomedical fields and all other science and engineering fields (see Chapter 5).

[38] Ibid.


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