Institutional Capacity

University of Arizona Research Capacity

Arizona is one of the nation’s leading public research universities, with an extensive institutional track record, depth of experience, and the resources to effectively manage, administer, and support hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants and awards annually. As Arizona's Land Grant University, the university includes Cooperative Extension offices in all of Arizona's counties. The University's total economic impact in is estimated at $4.1 billion annually (2017) with certain disciplines, such as the Space Sciences and Astronomy generating $560.5M every year (2023). Read more in our Research Overview publications or the UA News Report on the FY22 Rankings (2023).

Research Expenditures

  • FY23: $955M
  • FY22: $824M
  • FY21: $770M
  • FY20: $761M
  • FY19: $734M
  • FY18: $687M
  • FY17: $622M
  • FY16: $605M


Other top-50 placements (HERD) include:

  • #25: Biological and biomedical sciences
  • #29: Geosciences, atmospheric sciences and ocean sciences
  • #29: Agricultural sciences, natural resources and conservation
  • #34: Department of Agriculture expenditures
  • #36: National Science Foundation expenditures
  • #36: Social sciences
  • #36: Science and engineering fields
  • #39: Life sciences
  • #44: Computer and information sciences
  • #50: Department of Health and Human Services expenditures


  • Member of the prestigious Association for American Universities (AAU), comprised of 71 distinguished institutions in the U.S. and Canada.
  • The first four-year public university in the state of Arizona to be federally recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2018. The U.S. Department of Education defines Hispanic-serving institutions as eligible institutions with an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students at least 25 percent Hispanic.
  • An American Indian and Alaska Native-Serving Institution per White House Executive Order 13592, "Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities." These institutions count on a population of either 10% American Indian and Alaska Native students or 300 or more American Indian and Alaska Native students. Please note that Arizona is not a Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institution (NASNTI) or a minority institution as defined by U.S.C., Chapter 20.
  • A designated Innovation & Economic Prosperity Institution by the Association of Public & Land Grant Universities (APLU), recognizing the university's substantive, sustainable, and institution-wide commitment to and strategy for regional economic engagement, growth, and economic opportunity.

Unique University of Arizona Resources & Research Projects

  • The Lunar and Planetary Lab has partnered with NASA on every mission since Apollo, including the Phoenix Mars Mission and the OSIRIS-REx Mission (which returned to Earth Sept. 24, 2023, to drop off material from asteroid Bennu). It continues as part of OSIRIS-APEX, a follow-on to OSIRIS-REx, which will study the physical changes to the asteroid Apophis after the asteroid’s rare close encounter with Earth in 2029.
  • Developed the Near-Infrared Camera onboard the James Webb Space Telescope
  • Home to the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Center for Quantum Networks. The University has also graduated two ERCs: the Center for Integrated Access Networks and the Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing.
  • Home to the NSF Science & Technology Center (STC) the New Frontiers of Sound (NewFoS).
  • The campus houses multiple high-speed wind tunnels and facilities for high-temperature materials and manufacturing as part of the Arizona Research Center for Hypersonics (member of the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics).
  • Helped capture the first image of a black hole using the Event Horizon Telescope.
  • Leading a project with USDA funding to turn Guayule into rubber to provide a reliable domestic rubber source.
  • The Water and Energy Sustainability Technology (WEST) Center brings industry, academia, and government together to work side-by-side on the water/food/energy nexus as a scale-size lab.
  • Home to CyVerse, an NSF-funded cyberinfrastructure for research data.
  • Biosphere 2, the world's largest controlled environment dedicated to understanding the impacts of climate change. 
  • At the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab  scientists and engineers are making giant, lightweight mirrors of unprecedented power for a new generation of optical telescopes.
  • Member of the original cohort for the NIH All of Us Research Program to advance precision medicine research and fuel new insights into human health. The Research Hub houses one of the largest, most diverse, and most broadly accessible datasets ever assembled.
  • Leads the NIH funded Precision Aging Network with the goal of developing more effective brain-aging treatments and interventions using precision medicine.
  • Home to the world's largest robotic field scanner at the Maricopa Agricultural Center, a 2,100-acre research farm within The College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences.

For more details on student activities, enrollment statistics, and more, visit the University Analytics & Institutional Research Interactive Fact Book.

Research Infrastructure

Research, Innovation and Impact (RII) at Arizona provides pre-award, post-award, compliance, and contracting services across the University. Research service units within RII include Research Development Services, Sponsored Projects Services, and the Contract & Research Support Program. In addition to these services, RII provides programs that promote the safe, legal, and ethical conduct of research, including the Office for Responsible Outside Interests, Export Controls Program, Human Subjects Protection Program, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, HIPAA Privacy Program, Research Laboratory & Safety Services, Research Integrity Program, and Responsible Conduct of Research Program. College and department business units comply with RII guidance and policies for sponsored research financial reporting and management.

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