Changes in Federal Support for Academic S&E and R&D Activities Since the 1970s

Share of Support to Selected Carnegie Groups

Federal S&E funds—both R&D and "other S&E"—have been historically concentrated within the research, doctorate-granting, and medical institutions. These institutions received between 93 percent and 96 percent of all S&E funds, between 94 percent and 97 percent of R&D funds, and between 81 percent and 93 percent of other S&E funds during the FY 1971–2000 period. (See figure 6 and appendix table 4.) However, there was a perceptible shift in fund shares over the 30-year period.

Figure 6. Share of Federal S&E support to academic institutions received by 1994 Carnegie research, doctorate-granting and medical institutions, by type of support: FY 1971-2000
Figure 6 Source Data: Excel File

Most of the change in Federal R&D fund shares occurred within research, doctorate-granting, and medical institutions—with a shift away from research 1, research 2, and doctorate 1 institutions and toward the doctorate 2 and medical institutions. (See appendix table 5.) For example, the share received by research 1 institutions declined from 81 to 75 percent during the FY 1971–2000 period, while the shares received by doctorate 2 and medical institutions increased from 2 percent to 4 percent and 5 to 9 percent, respectively. The increased share of Federal R&D funds directed to medical institutions can probably be attributed to the rapid increase in the the National Institutes of Health budget, particularly during the 1990s. The combined share going to 2-year and all other Carnegie institutions increased slightly less than 2 percentage points during the 30-year period.

The nature of the change in "other S&E support" shares was quite different. The combined share going to research, doctorate-granting, and medical institutions decreased from 91 percent to 81 percent, with very little internal redistribution. Although the 2-year institutions had a slight increase in share, most of the increase in share went to all other Carnegie institutions, particularly the comprehensive institutions and other institutions. (See appendix table 5.)

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