Duke's Research Expenditures Exceed $1.2 Billion in Latest Federal Data

Life sciences and clinical trials put Duke in the nation's top ten

Pass-through weapons detection enabled by metamaterials is one of Duke's federally-funded research projects that is approaching commercialization.(Jared Lazarus)
Pass-through weapons detection enabled by metamaterials is one of Duke's federally-funded research projects that is approaching commercialization.(Jared Lazarus)

The latest data on university research and development activities from the National Science Foundation shows that Duke University spent $1.226 billion on research in fiscal year 2019, ranking it tenth in the country.

The rankings place Duke as the ninth largest recipient of federal research support, having risen from 13th place in 2010. Duke is the fourth-largest for life sciences research, with $1.02 billion in expenditures, and the fourth-largest private institution on the list.

Once again this year, Duke is the largest university recipient of business funding for research, having spent $236 million from corporate sources in FY 2019. Much of this funding goes to the Duke Clinical Research Institute for clinical trials.

UNC-Chapel Hill finished 12th in the national rankings with $1.153 billion in research expenditures, and NC State is at 49th with $541 million.

Taken together, the Triangle universities performed $2.9 billion in research during fiscal year 2019.

“Research is not only part of this region’s name and identity -- it is our most valuable and important ‘export’ product,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke.” These total investments in the Triangle’s universities and research institutions are greater than all but a handful of states, and they fuel both the local economy and global innovation.”