Higher education institutions are an essential component of the U.S. R&D system, performing almost half of U.S. basic research and training the next generation of scientists and engineers across fields. In inflation-adjusted dollars, total academic R&D has grown every year since 1975. The federal government, primarily through six agencies, provides more than half of academic R&D funding, although its share has declined over time. Academic institutions themselves are the second-largest contributor to academic R&D, and their share has grown over time. Most academic R&D is performed by the same small percentage of U.S. higher education institutions that award the majority of S&E doctoral degrees. Among S&E fields, life sciences and engineering continue to dominate academic R&D. Overall spending on research equipment has not grown in the past decade when adjusted for inflation. As with overall academic R&D spending, the federal share has declined, and academic institutions are playing a more important funding role than in the past.