is a high priority at Arizona’s colleges and universities.
R&D expenditures at the state’s academic institutions
totaled $380 million in FY 1995. The federal government was
the source of about 55 percent of these funds, which is five
percent lower than the national average. In contrast, the
share of R&D in Arizona colleges and universities funded
by the institutions’ own funds, 33 percent, is well above
the national average of 18 percent (see Table
of total federal support for S&E (see accompanying text
box), Arizona’s top three universities received $200 million
in FY 1995, 1.4 percent of the national total (see Table
academic science and engineering (S&E) includes a
broad range of activities. S&E includes the
narrower category of R&D and also encompasses funding
for science and engineering education, training, fellowships,
facilities support, and all other federally sponsored
academic S&E activities.
of Arizona (UA) in Tucson is the state’s leading research
university. UA received $152 million from the federal government
for S&E in FY 1995, placing it 25th among the
nation’s universities (see Table
3). Most of this, $137 million, was for R&D. UA accounts
for 77 percent of all the federal R&D funding to Arizona
colleges and universities. NIH funds a large part of UA’s
research ($58 million in FY 1995). NASA is second with $35
million, NSF is third with $18 million, and DOD follows with
of Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) is the recipient
of most of the state’s federal funding for health research.
AHSC includes colleges of nursing and pharmacy, as well as
the University Medical Center. It also includes Arizona’s
only university medical school. AHSC is home to eleven "Centers
of Excellence," designated by the Arizona Board of Regents,
devoted to research, clinical care, and teaching.
research is particularly strong in the fields of astronomy
and optics. NSF funds many programs in these fields, such
as the Arizona Mirror Laboratory, the Steward Observatory,
and other activities in the optical sciences. NSF also provides
funding for a broad range of other disciplines, from climatology
and ecology to environmentally friendly semiconductor manufacturing
processes. NSF’s obligations for R&D to UA totaled $18
million in FY 1995.
NASA and UA began operating the university’s Space Engineering
Research Center. The Center’s mission is to figure out how
to use resources existing in space, like those available on
Mars, the Moon, or asteroids. Such In-Situ Resource Utilization
(ISRU) could make human space exploration and development
easier, cheaper, and faster.
$41 million in FY 1995, Arizona State University (ASU) is
the state’s second-largest university recipient of federal
S&E obligations, placing it at 96th among U.S.
universities (see Table
3). ASU’s main campus is in Tempe, a suburb of Phoenix.
ASU focuses more on disciplines such as engineering and computer
science than UA, and also conducts research in a broad range
of disciplines, including planetary science and health.
$33 million in federal R&D funding in FY 1995 (see Table
4). These funds are more evenly distributed at ASU than
at many major research universities. NSF provides the largest
share of ASU’s federal R&D dollars, accounting for $10
million in FY 1995. NSF funding has created ASU’s Materials
Research Science and Engineering Center, the Central Arizona-Phoenix
Urban Long-Term Ecological Research Site and has funded studies
of early events in photosynthesis.
$9 million for R&D at ASU in FY 1995; HHS provided $7
million, and NASA $3 million. ASU does not have a medical
school, but it conducts research in health and biotechnology
through facilities such as the Cancer Research Center and
the W. M. Keck Bioimaging Laboratory.
Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff accounts for the remaining
portion of Arizona’s university R&D. NAU spent about $11
million on research in FY 1995 (see Table
5), and received $6 million in federal S&E support
in FY 1995. NAU performs federally sponsored activities aimed
at improving science and math education and resource conservation
home to the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
Flagstaff laboratory and to the U.S. Geological Survey Biological
Research Division’s Colorado Plateau Research Station.
Arizona universities awarded over 18,000 bachelors degrees,
over one-third of which were in science and engineering (see
Table 6). The most
popular discipline was the life sciences. Arizona life science
graduates accounted for 1.3 percent of all the life science
baccalaureate degrees in the United States.
graduates in math and the computer sciences, while smaller
in number, account for a much larger portion of the national
total. There were 869 math and computer science baccalaureate
degrees awarded to Arizona students in 1995, 2.3 percent of
the national total. This relative strength remains the same
when masters and doctoral degrees are considered as well.
Arizona awarded 445 doctorates in science and engineering,
placing it 20th in the nation. In 1994, Arizona
ranked 25th in the nation in the number of post-doctorates
(400 total) and 15th for graduate students in S&E
within doctorate granting institutions (7,661). However, Arizona
has only 2 doctoral scientists or engineers employed per 1000
employed persons, placing it 45th in the nation.