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About University Research

Research performed by the nation's colleges and universities is a relatively small but important part of the nation's overall research and development (R&D) effort. While universities perform just 15 percent of total national R&D, they perform 55 percent of the nation's basic research. (NSF 2011 data). Because there is broad consensus that university research is a long-term investment in the future, the federal government supports about 60 percent of the research performed at universities. Along with creating new knowledge, U.S. universities use their research activities to educate students who will become the next generation's scientists, teachers, and leaders in government and industry.