post-World War II era, the rapid expansion and development
of world-class research capabilities at universities in the
University of California system, at Stanford University, and
in other institutions was fueled by generous federal support
for both the conduct of research and research infrastructure.
As a result of state commitment to higher education combined
with federal support, California's universities are world-class
centers for research and education.
universities and colleges are also major recipients of federal
dollars in the form of research grants. (Universities receive
federal funds from a variety of sources including education
aid, training grants, and fellowships. This report does not
cover these other types of federal funds). Three out of the
top ten and five of the top twenty university recipients of
federal R&D funds nationwide are located in California,
led by Stanford University at number three. The University
of California system received nearly $1 billion in federal
support for R&D in FY 1993, nearly three times the amount
that flowed to the next-largest system recipient, the University
of Texas system.
federal government has long played a major role in supporting
R&D at the nation's colleges and universities. Although
this role has decreased somewhat since the 1980s, the federal
government still supports over 60 percent of the R&D performed
at the nation's colleges and universities, with the remainder
coming from institutional funds, state and local governments,
universities are even more dependent on federal funds to support
their R&D than universities nationwide. In FY 1994, California's
universities expended $2.5 billion for R&D, of which $1.7
billion, or 69 percent, came from the federal government.
The next largest source of funds, institutional funds derived
from tuition and other sources, accounted for $365 million
or 15 percent. The state, along with local governments, provided
$120 million, or 5 percent, while industry contributed $106
1994, several California universities received more than 80
percent of their R&D funds from the federal government,
including UC San Diego (80 percent), UC Santa Barbara (81
percent), Stanford (84 percent), and CalTech (88 percent).
This unusually heavy dependence on federal funding is likely
to continue because of continuing cutbacks in state support
for higher education. Although industrial firms are the fastest-growing
funding source for university R&D nationwide, they still
represent a relatively small share overall, and they are are
unlikely to replace other funding sources.
support for academic R&D is spread throughout the state,
with seven campuses receiving more than $100 million in FY
1993 as shown in Table 3 and Chart 5. Over half of these funds
come in the form of research grants from the National Institutes
of Health, which finance biomedical research primarily in
medical schools and life sciences departments. In FY 1993,
$794 million flowed to California universities through NIH
continuing support is crucial to the ability of many universities
to carry out research. For example, NIH accounts for over
90 percent of federal support for R&D at UC San Francisco,
a world-class biomedical research and teaching institution
which ranks behind only the medical school at Johns Hopkins
University as the largest university recipient of NIH grants.
Even counting other sources of support such as the state,
industry, and institutional funds, NIH alone finances two-thirds
of UC San Francisco's R&D. Three other university campuses
in California receive more than $100 million annually from
next largest source of federal support for university R&D
in California is the National Science Foundation, which funds
merit-reviewed research in a wide range of disciplines. California
universities received $255 million in research grants and
facilities support from NSF in FY 1993. The largest beneficiary
was CalTech, which received $51 million, evenly divided between
research grants and R&D infrastructure support. Three
other universities received more than $20 million each. Although
NSF's R&D budget increased by more than 10 percent a year
between FY 1993 and FY 1995, it was virtually flat between
FY 1995 and FY 1996 and it is unlikely see significant growth
(and may well decline) in coming years as discretionary spending
comes under increasing deficit-reduction pressure.
out the university funding picture are the Department of Defense,
which focuses its funding on basic and applied research in
computer science and engineering (DOD's development work,
as noted earlier, takes place mostly in industry), the Department
of Energy which mostly funds physics and energy sciences,
and NASA which funds aeronautics, astronomy, and space sciences.
Stanford is the largest recipient of these funds.