This report provides a portrait of R&D conducted by higher education institutions in the United States, including trends over time. The report is divided into two main sections: funding and infrastructure. The funding section provides an overview of academic R&D in the United States. It discusses sources of support for academic R&D: primarily the federal government, followed by academic institutions themselves, along with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and state and local governments. The funding section closely examines the higher education institutions performing most academic R&D and describes differences between public and private institutions and differences between those with and without medical schools. This section also provides information on funding across S&E fields and discusses the costs associated with academic R&D. The infrastructure section provides information on research facilities at higher education institutions, including how much space is devoted to research in different S&E fields and trends in research space over time. It also looks at trends in funding for research equipment.

Additional context on the subjects covered in this report is available in other Indicators 2020 reports. See the Indicators 2020 report “Research and Development: U.S. Trends and International Comparisons” for discussion of the overall U.S. R&D system. Graduate students studying S&E are discussed in Indicators 2020 report “Higher Education in Science and Engineering” and the academic workforce is discussed in Indicators 2020 report “Science and Engineering Labor Force.”